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Last Updated: Friday, 30 May, 2003, 15:49 GMT 16:49 UK
Geldof returns to famine zone
Bob Geldof with young Aids victim
Geldof is always outspoken
Live Aid campaigner Bob Geldof has returned to Ethiopia's northern highlands, the worst affected area in the 1984 famine.

What he saw on his visit nearly two decades ago prompted him to help set up the Live Aid charity concerts.

Now the worst areas in Ethiopia's current famine are mainly in the south east, but Geldof is spending two days in the northern highlands as part of his tour with charity Save the Children.

Officials from the charity have suggested as many as 12.5 million people may need food aid.

And Western governments must redouble their efforts to avoid disaster for Ethiopia, said Save the Children's Peter Hawkins, who worked with Geldof in the 1984 crisis.

Mr Hawkins, the charity's regional director, said: "It's tragic Bob Geldof has had to go out and provide a marker for the world once again.

"The only way to break Ethiopia's cycle of poverty and famine is to address the long-term situation affecting the country.

"It is this failure to offer long-term development aid and access to fair trade rules that world leaders at the G8 must commit to this weekend."

While visiting the Sekota area, Geldof is being shown a new Save the Children programme aimed at tackling the underlying problems that plunge Ethiopia into drought again and again.

The programme is to bridge the gap between short term food aid and long term development by making land enclosures so grasslands can grow back, and developing livestock and new cropping.

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