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article image1984 famine in Ethiopia to repeat itself

By Miriam Mannak     Oct 23, 2009 in World
History is repeating itself in Ethiopia. Twenty-five years after a devastating famine killed one million people, famine looms again - threatening 6.5 million lives.
Persistent droughts, failed crops, high food prices, and political instability are the roots of the current crisis, which not only affects Ethiopia - where the livelihoods of more than 80 percent of people depend on that comes off the land - but also other countries in the Horn of Africa, including Kenya and Somalia.
To control the damage, Ethiopia's state minister for agriculture, Mitiku Kassa, has appealed to donors for more than $121 million. It is estimated that in January, almost 5 million of Ethiopia's 85 million people needed emergency food aid. This number is expected to rise to 6.5 million.
It is a repetition of the 1984 famine, which kick-started one of the largest charity drives in the world's history, which included the famous concert Live Aid.
Nick Martlew of Oxfam Ethiopia, said that the country's east should be green and healthy. This is not the case, due to droughts and poor irrigation infrastructure. The bulk of Ethiopia's agriculture is rain fed. "Where we are in eastern Ethiopia you can look out and it's completely barren as far as the eye can see," he said.
More about Ethiopia, Famine, Oxfam, Food crisis
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