Monday, 9 June 2008

UK to send further £10m aid to Ethiopia

The UK government is to give a further £10 million in aid to Ethiopia, it was announced last night.

The contribution, which is in addition to the £5 million announced last month, is in response to the worsening humanitarian situation. Drought and steep hikes in food prices are having a devastating impact on children and families in parts of Ethiopia. Around 126,000 children are in need of urgent treatment for severe malnutrition and this number is likely to rise, according to Unicef.

The humanitarian agency estimates that 3.4 million Ethiopians will need emergency food aid in the next three months, and that six million children are now in danger of malnutrition.
The World Food Programme has said around £73 million will be needed to feed children at risk of starvation.

Douglas Alexander, the international development secretary, said a team from the Department for International Development will be arriving in the country from today to assess the situation.

The Ethiopian government is expected to launch an emergency appeal this week. Ethiopia came to the world's attention in 1984 when a major famine saw eight million people at risk of starvation. It prompted the Band Aid fund-raising single Do They Know It's Christmas? and the Live Aid charity concerts.

Margaret Aguirre, of the International Medical Corps, a US aid agency, said the numbers of those affected were soaring. She said: "We're overwhelmed. There's not enough food and everyone's starving and that's all there is to it."

"What's particularly concerning is that the moderately malnourished are soaring. It's increasing so much that it means those children are going to slide into severe malnutrition.

Source: The Scotsman

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