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$500 million needed to fund drought relief programmes in Ethiopia - WFP

$500 million needed to fund drought relief programmes in Ethiopia - WFP

Ethiopia

The World Food Programme says that Ethiopia needs about $500 million to fund programmes beyond April aimed at providing support to 10.2 million people facing severe food shortage.

Ethiopia is currently facing the worst drought in 50 years due to the current El Niño phenomenon which is the strongest ever recorded.

We are really on the cliff's edge as we speak

This has resulted to a 50 to 90 percent crop reduction, in a country where 80 percent of the population depends on rain fed agriculture.

“We are really on the cliff’s edge as we speak,” WFP Country Director John Aylieff said. He also added that the funds had to be raised by the end of February so resources could be in place by the end of April.

The relief effort is being conducted by a number of international organisations in conjunction with the Ethiopian government, which has so far spent $300 million, with additional funds coming from abroad.

An estimated $1.4 billion is expected to be spent in 2016 to cover relief food and other requirements in Ethiopia.

However, some experts say that estimate may prove inadequate, after rains failed in 2015 and with the outlook for 2016 also unclear.

The drought comes at a time when the Horn of Africa country is experiencing tremendous economic growth, averaging about 10 percent annually over the last decade.

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