Threat of famine looms over millions of Ethiopians, UN food agency warns
Warning that the threat of famine looms over millions of people in Ethiopia, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today voiced concern that donors have not provided enough resources to enable the agency to respond to the crisis.
Severe food shortages are already expected in January unless pledges quickly materialize, according to WFP, which needs $80 million worth of food for next month alone.
With drought affecting many regions of Ethiopia, the number of people needing food aid is expected is expected to rise sharply from the current 6 million to between 10 million and 14 million people in 2003.
“Donor contributions have covered the most acute needs over recent months, but by early next year the number of drought-affected Ethiopians will rise dramatically – the food aid pledges received so far are nowhere near enough,” said Georgia Shaver, WFP Representative in Ethiopia.
She warned that in the worst-case scenario, up to 14 million people will require of around
2 million tons of food aid, costing $700 million. “If donors respond quickly, we can still help avoid immense human suffering in Ethiopia,” she said.