Ethiopia says 4.9 million people need food aid

Published on 30 January 2009

Ethiopia said on Friday that 4.9 million of its people will need emergency food aid in the first six months of 2009 due to drought and appealed for $390 million from donors to pay for it. That figure represents a fall of 1.5 million from last October, when the government of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said 6.4 million people needed urgent help to stave off hunger. Friday's statement said poor rains and high global commodity prices had triggered food insecurity in the huge Horn of Afric country last year, but lamented that there had been only a "limited response" from the international community. Many Africans fear the global credit crunch will mean rich nations send less aid to the world's poorest continent.

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Washington Post / Reuters