Hunger is once again threatening vast swathes of Africa because of drought and high food prices. The United Nations has estimated that 14 million are at risk and at the heart of the looming catastrophe is Ethiopia, where over 10 million are in need of emergency food aid. ITN’s Martin Geissler reports, Aug 5, 2013
February 12, 2014 (Business Day Online) — No fewer than 2.7 million Ethiopians may need food assistance in spite of the reported bumper harvest of 231 million quintals of grains in the 2013 fiscal year, a survey carried out by an Addis Ababa based local media reported on Wednesday.
“Ethiopia finds itself in critical need of donors’ assistance, in order to feed 2.7 million people,” the report said.
The Ethiopian Government had recently announced an eight per cent growth in the country’s Agriculture sector over the period of 10 years with an upbeat bumper harvest of 231 million quintals of grain for the current fiscal year.
According to the report, the projection was based on the document of the joint meeting of donors and the Ethiopian government who deliberated on the issue on Jan. 24. in Addis Ababa.
“The meeting was convened to agree on the projection of the volume of humanitarian assistance needed for 2014,” it said. “The joint Government and Humanitarian partners’ Document-showed that 2.7 million of the 91 million people in the nation, according to the latest estimate by the World Bank are in need of humanitarian aid.”
It said the total food requirement was estimated at 388,635 MT with a breakdown showing a shortfall of 314,684 MT of cereals, 31,468 MT of pulses, 9,441 MT of oil and 33,042 MT of blended or supplementary food.
This comes against the government’s recent announcement that agricultural productivity in the nation is projected to grow in leaps and bounds.
The report said in spite of the normal and above normal 2013 rains, which further improved the food security situation in the country, humanitarian challenges will continue in 2014 in north eastern Amhara, Afar and the southern Tigray regions.
“These are all areas that receive inadequate seasonal rainfall and in some areas affected by various hazards, like floods, conflicts, crop pests and diseases,” according to the report..
The report also says that water shortages persist in the drought-prone areas in northeastern Afar, South Region, southeastern Tigray and the lowlands of the southern pastoral areas.
“The nation’s 12.27 million hectare of land was covered with cereals during the year 2012/13. This was a 1.52 per cent increase compared to that of the previous year.”
Source: Business Day Online