ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Sept. 18 (UPI) –Ethiopia underestimates the scale of a deadly drought affecting millions in the Africa country, U.N. agencies said.
Some of the needy are allegedly being deprived of emergency food aid by the country’s military, the Times of London reported Thursday.
The crisis, caused by three consecutive dry years, officially affects about 4.6 million in Ethiopia though it could be as high as 6.7 million this week, figures show. The U.N. says the real number at risk is more than 8 million. Officials in Addis Ababa hotly dispute that.
The drought is at its worst in the vast deserts of the Ogaden region, where the U.N.’s World Food Program says it is receiving increasing reports of hunger-related mortality. About two million people are believed at risk there.