Saturday, June 21, 2008

Q&A: Ethiopia's Urban Poor Cannot Afford To Eat

Q&A: Ethiopia's Urban Poor Cannot Afford To Eat

Interview with Abera Tola, Director of Oxfam's Horn of Africa regional office

Inter Press Service

ADDIS ABABA, Jun 21, 2008 (IPS) - Ethiopia, a nation of 80 million people, has been the site of famine and drought throughout its tumultuous history. Arising from a myriad of causes and often shepherded along by political instability, the country's 1984-85 famine, for example, left over a million dead and served as the impetus for the fund-raising concerts of Live Aid in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Today, Ethiopia once again stands at the brink of a substantial food crisis, with the Word Food Program currently estimating that, of Ethiopia's 80 million citizens, 3.4 million will need emergency food relief from July to September. This is in addition to the 8 million currently receiving assistance. UNICEF has asserted that the country's food shortage this year is the most severe since 2003, when droughts forced 13.2 million people to seek emergency food aid.

IPS correspondent Michael Deibert sat down in Addis Ababa with Abera Tola, Director of the Horn of Africa Regional Office of Oxfam America, to hear his insights as to Ethiopia's latest food crisis.

Read the full article here.

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