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Aid agencies launch funds for drought stricken Ethiopia

Aid agencies launch funds for drought stricken Ethiopia

Ethiopia

Aid agencies have launched a fund raising campaign in response to the fate of millions affected by drought in Ethiopia.

Sudan Tribune reports that officials from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said the agencies have launched a 90 days campaign to raise awareness on the urgent need for additional funding for the drought crisis in the country.

According to Reuters, the government and the United Nations have asked for $1.4 billion to feed 10.2 million people.

I cannot even sell my cattle and use the money to buy food because they are emaciated and no one will buy them from me.

World Food Programme (WFP) said funding shortages mean food aid is in short supply and malnutrition will increase dramatically if donor money runs out in May.

“Over the course of last year in many places it simply didn’t rain. That obviously has an impact on agriculture but also on drinking water, for those in areas used to accessing shallow water wells, many of them have dried up which is also a factor in driving displacement,” said Paul Handley, Head of the UN office For the coordination of humanitarian affairs in Ethiopia.

The agencies fund raising campaign comes few days after the Ethiopian government appealed for more food assistance as the Horn of Africa’s nation faces the worst drought in decades.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn last week said his country is seeking more international support because of the hundreds of thousands of refugees from neighbouring countries it hosts.

Ethiopia currently hosts over 730,000 refugees mainly from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan.

The number in need is greatest in Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country.

The drought is as severe in some areas as the one in 1984, when conflict and failed rains caused a famine that killed a million people.

Ethiopia is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies, but the crisis is still straining the nation.

“I cannot even sell my cattle and use the money to buy food because they are emaciated and no one will buy them from me,” said Gena Geleta, a farmer.

The horn of Africa’s nation is currently struggling to feed millions of its citizens affected after a drought induced by an El Nino weather phenomenon.

According to aid agencies, more than 10 million people in Ethiopia need an emergency food aid and more than 1.4 billion US dollars is needed to deal with the crisis.

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