July 2024

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The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development provided a 41 million euro emergency aid package to Ethiopia in order to help the country fight a drought that many compare to the 1980s natural disaster that killed more than a million Ethiopians.

A relentless drought

Today, about 18 million Ethiopians are suffering from famine and are exposed to diseases. Half of the funding will be assigned to the United Nations World Food Programme to provide emergency food to nearly two million people. The other half is a pooled fund that can be accessed by UN agencies and NGOs. It is dedicated to providing emergency water, healthcare, and humanitarian technical assistance to help deal with the crisis. Nick Hurd, Britain’s new International development minister is comparing the drought to the 1984 disaster that shocked the world as millions died. This new crisis, however, is supposed to be less severe because more resources are available to deal with the impact.

“A relentless drought is pushing millions to the brink in Ethiopia. The scale of the drought is similar to the one that killed so many in 1984. This time the Ethiopian government is in a much stronger position to help their people. However, they need the help of the international community,” Hurd said.

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Tough days ahead

According to the Ethiopian government, 10.2 million people will need emergency food aid in 2016, adding to the 7.9 million chronically food insecure people and the other 2 million individuals who are in need of malnutrition treatment. Ethiopia is among Africa’s fastest-growing economies, but failed rains are causing food security issues to the 96 million inhabitant nation. So far, the country has allocated 272 million euros for the crisis and the government plans to reallocate more funds. The government has been recently facing criticism surrounding the controversial urban expansion plan of Addis Ababa in the Oromia region.

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SEE ALSO: 9 Reasons Why Ethiopia Was Named World’s Best Tourist Destination For 2015.