Ethiopia is on the verge of experiencing acute malnutrition if urgent food aid is not made available, an international NGO, Save the Children has warned.
An estimated $245 million is needed to provide food to people in the drought afflicted areas.
“We only have until the end of February for the international community to pledge and disburse more funds for urgently needed food aid. It can take around 120 days to purchase and transport food into Ethiopia through Djibouti, so we all must step up now otherwise children and families in dire need of assistance could simply not have any food from outside,” warned John Graham, the Country Director of Save the Children Ethiopia.
We all said ‘never again’ after the tragedy of 1984, and again after the famine in Somalia in 2011. So now is crunch time and they must step up before it’s too late
Ethiopia’s worst drought in 50 years has left more than 10 million people in dire need of food assistance among whom are six million children.
Save the Children says about 400,000 children will need urgent supplementary feeding or risk facing mental development delays.
“In 2016, when we have all the right systems in place to prevent a massive humanitarian disaster, it would be absolutely unforgivable if the international community failed to act” the NGO said in a statement.
It added “we all said ‘never again’ after the tragedy of 1984, and again after the famine in Somalia in 2011. So now is crunch time and they must step up before it’s too late.”
A call for urgent support by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is still not being acted upon quickly enough.
A similar call by the Ethiopian Government and the UN for $1.4 billion to combat the impact of the drought been received about half of the expected figure.