Worrying aid shortages as malnutrition hits record high in Ethiopia

Ethiopia-triesBy Katy Migiro

NAIROBI, Nov 2 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Donors are not responding fast enough to urgent calls for more aid to drought-stricken Ethiopia where record-breaking numbers of children are suffering malnutrition, the United Nations said on Monday.

Ethiopia is experiencing its worst drought in decades, after low and erratic rainfall during the spring and summer, leaving more than eight million people in need of food aid.

“The El Niño-caused drought emergency is worsening and is worryingly underfunded despite repeated calls by the Ethiopian government and humanitarian partners for additional funds,” the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

The El Niño weather phenomenon, caused by Pacific Ocean warming, is causing droughts and floods across eastern Africa.

The number of children admitted to hospitals with severe acute malnutrition, meaning they are likely to die without therapeutic feeding, has hit record levels, the U.N. said.

In September, there were more than 35,000 new admissions, bringing the number of children under 5 years old treated for SAM this year to more than 250,000, the U.N. said.

Children are falling critically ill because of the failed rains along with shortages of food aid, particularly supplementary nutrition given to the most vulnerable members of the population, it said.

Women and girls are travelling up to 30km (18.6 miles) a day in search of water, their burden increased by the death of their livestock.

“They are now carrying loads, which otherwise would have been carried by their donkeys,” it said.

The number of hungry people in the region is expected to almost double to 22 million in early 2016, from 12 million a year earlier, the U.N. said.

Ethiopia, with the second largest population in Africa, will require the lion’s share of aid, despite its impressive double digit economic growth in recent years.

The U.N. said 15 million Ethiopians, about 15 percent of the population, will likely need emergency aid by early next year.

Ethiopia’s government provided $192 million to respond to the crisis last month, but the U.N. said another $348 million is needed for the remainder of this year.

Humanitarians and the government have been briefing donors, several of whom have made pledges, but these are “insignificant” in relation to need, the U.N. said late last month.

(Reporting by Katy Migiro, Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst. (Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, corruption and climate change. Visit www.trust.org).)

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Posted by on November 2, 2015. Filed under FEATURED. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to Worrying aid shortages as malnutrition hits record high in Ethiopia

  1. Rolf Gautschi

    November 2, 2015 at 7:22 PM

    When it comes to land policy Ethiopia’s government land movers and shakers system in need of total restructure first i say. “Ethiopians should expect no less than a miracle”
    said Arkebe Oqubay (PhD), special advisor to the Prime Minister with
    ministerial rank affirming The Mengistu Hailemariam’s

    times type of nightmare is repeating in

    Ethiopia right now.
    That is why many investors from Germany and other investors are tired of
    sending their aid and/or investing in Ethiopia


    channels only to see the money benefiting the few elites

    the needy majority of Ethiopians continue

    to suffer more and more . I am a German citizen who is based
    in Ethiopia. I

    managed to secure a farm land in

    Ethiopia about a decade ago partnering with my former

    that helped me

    and my former bosses to maintain and sell many farm

    machineries across Ethiopia

    for decades. The land was supposed to be bringing the much

    awaited agricultural

    revolution but the new Prime Minster killed it. After the

    death of Meles Zenawi

    the new Prime Minster confiscated our farm with all the

    equipments found on the

    property to sell it to some khat farmers . If you sit and

    wait Germany to save

    you I say you are definitely going to suffer the worst. The

    solution would have

    been for democracy , equality , freedom and respect for the

    law without these no one can do anything

    to end the famines in Ethiopia. The Automotives and

    Machineries Importers &

    Assembly Sectoral Association is very disappointed with the

    actions of the

    current Prime Minster which is making the mechanization

    processes of the Ethiopian

    agricultural sector impossible.

    As the two Masters degrees holder in Economics and leadership first lady Roman Tesfaye said “the Adharis ” which she translated to “Neo-Liberals” are the ones that are spreading rumors that makes investors loose confidence in Ethiopian government’s business development practices.”

    . Nomatter who said what what I observed a shameful fact about the country called Ethiopia my home base for more than a decade . Ethiopia is the only country keeps loosing high amount of money due to lack of Pricing assessment system which must be implemented for export goods from Ethiopia because that is how most money is stolen from Ethiopia. Almost $2 trillion has left Africa illicitly since 1970, thwarting poverty reduction and economic growth. A new research conducted by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, has indicated that the amount of Ethiopia’s illicit capital flight in the last four decades amounted to nearly 25 billion USD.

    The research, which covers the period between 1970 and 2010, shows that 33 Sub-Saharan African countries including Ethiopia have lost over 810 billion USD that exceeds the amount they received in official development aid from donors. In the same period, the amount lost in illicit capital flight also dwarfed the region’s inflow of foreign direct investment, which amounted only to 305 billion USD.

    The researchers underlined that there is an urgent need to stem illicit capital flight and make concerted efforts to repatriate of stolen assets “as a part of the broader goals of scaling up development financing, combating corruption, and improving transparency in the global financial system.”

    The report, Capital Flight from Sub-Saharan African Countries: Updated Estimates, 1970 – 2010, was conducted by economists at the Political Economy Research Institute, which is based at University of Massachusetts.

    Oil exporter Nigeria tops the list with 311.4 billion wasted in capital flight. Among the non-oil export countries, Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with huge amount of capital flight leaving the country unaccounted for.

    A separate report released last year by the International Financial Integrity has put the amount of illicit capital outflow to well over 11 billion in the last decade.


    Ethiopia loses more than 25 billion dollars in capital flight in the last two decades Ethiopia loses more than 5 billion dollars in capital flight each year since 2010. .

  2. Marta

    November 3, 2015 at 2:19 PM

    Here in Oakland , California USA a small group of Ethiopian refugees were lining up at a soup kitchen for free food while their case was being processed to adjust their immigration status which took years according to them . Many in the Ethiopian community of the Bay Area considered them as an outcast for doing the degrading act of begging for food in public. Many even considered to get them deported because they are shaming the proud ETHIOPIAN-AMERICANS . Many suggested to them to apply for foodstamp rather than standing inline at soup kitchens but these group refused saying our country begs for food in our name eventhough we didn’t get the aid while we were in Etyhiopia so why should we be ashamed begging for food here oin USA? True enough the refugees that applied for foodstamp and other government benefits got their immigration case rejected by the federal immigration judge while those that avoided foodstamp and welfare checks got their immigration case approoved . This also applies to the ggovernment of Ethiopia. Ethiopian government doesn’t want to be in a regular foodstamp type assistance not to jeopardize the application aprrooval to get a seat on the security council of the United Nations. The Ethiopian government only begs at soup kitchen type food ssistance agencies. We need to evaluate is food more important or a seat at the United nations Council for Ethiopians same as the refugees evaluated if food stamp is important or fixing heir immigration status. The Ethiopian regime in Ethiopia is making it’s priority to tackle the opposition in the diaspora by getting a seat at the security council at the UN so it is unlikely the government will jeopardize the seat.Ethiopian regime officials currently are trying to go through VOA , the UN security council and so on to choke the diaspora opposition .