Ethiopia has only three weeks to provide food for its people before a catastrophe occurs.
While European and North American countries spend billions on weapons for themselves and their proxy terrorist groups in the Middle East and Africa, and as presidential candidates collect millions for their political campaigns, in Ethiopia $245 million are needed to prevent the start of an imminent crisis that will strike the country in just 21 days.
The $245 are needed in food aid to prevent the “potentially catastrophic escalation” of cases of chronic malnutrition compared to the end of April, after lack of rain has left millions of people at risk of hunger, said the organization Save the Children.
Over 400,000 children may need supplementary feeding due to a “severe acute malnutrition” this year, after the worst drought in half a century wiped out the crops and killed livestock, said the non-governmental organization in a statement on Wednesday.
According to recent numbers, 1.7 million women and children could become severely malnourished, which could cause delays in the growth of most children if there is an interruption in the delivery of food aid.
“It can take about 120 days for the purchase and transport of food to Ethiopia to be completed via Djibouti, so now we must all work hard,” said the director of Save the Children Ethiopia, John Graham.
“The situation here is worse than any I’ve seen in the 19 years I spent in Ethiopia.”
The effects of El Niño, the phenomenon that causes ocean warming has left 10.2 million Ethiopians in need of food this year.
An additional 7.9 million people have been left with “chronic food insecurity” in the Horn of Africa. These people, out of a total of 100 million, supported by a regular program funded by the government and donors.
Aid groups and Ethiopian authorities have received about half of the $1,4 million requested by emergency funds, explains Save the Children in its latest call for help.
Two of the most affected places in Ethiopia are the Tigray and Afar regions, in the north of the country. It is estimated that these two locations have been hit by the worst drought in 50 years.
While government agencies and international fundraisers say that donors have been less forthcoming when providing aid to the African country, millions of dollars continue to be spent funding wars, coup d’etat, weapons systems in western Europe and the weaponization of diseases.
At least 10 million people suffer from lack of nutritious food right now and Ethiopia has only three weeks to deliver enough food to avoid yet another famine catastrophe.
As of December 2015, women and children were not only short on food, but also on water. “As a result of the severe drought in Ethiopia thousands of women and children are currently spending up to six hours a day fetching clean water as many wells are now drying up, and up to 1.2 million children are missing out on education as schools are closed in the worst affected areas,” reports Save The Children on its website. savethechildren.net.
Drought and famine is not only about not having what to eat or drink; it changes people’s lives completely. “In other areas, schools are now closed, and children are missing out on their education and with busy mothers walking hours for water often without care.” The NGO explains that hunger and drought are so severe that it has devastated communities and undermined the country’s development over the last decade.
“We cannot stand by and watch that progress be lost.”
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