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Last Updated: Friday, 5 September, 2003, 14:18 GMT 15:18 UK
Ethiopia still needs aid
Damian Zane
BBC, Addis Ababa

Food distribution centre
Ethiopia has enough food aid for this year
Ethiopia still requires $40m to help cope with the after effects of last year's drought, the government says.

Just under a fifth of the population need humanitarian assistance this year, and while most of their food needs have now been covered, there was a warning that donors should not become too complacent.

There were congratulations all round at Friday's meeting of the Ethiopian Government and donors.

Everyone agreed that the response to this year's appeal has been very good and thousands of lives have been saved.

But the government and the United Nations have said that no-one should rest on their laurels.

Long-term planning

The humanitarian agencies are now focusing their attention on the future - next year and beyond.

The head of the United Nations emergency unit, Paul Hebert, said great progress had been made to tackle food insecurity but there was still a lot of work to do.
A woman and children queue at a feeding centre
Hunger will remain a threat in the future

"We have to be ready to address the needs that we expect to be present in January, February and March next year, " he said.

The $40m the government is asking for is needed for vital things like water sanitation, and improved health campaigns to fight the growing threat of malaria.

Money is also needed this year for agriculture and education.

These things will help people cope with food shortages.

But there will still be an appeal for 2004 - as there will still be hungry people.

What is now hoped is there will be better long-term planning.

That should help Ethiopia stop being so dependent on aid.


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