Hunger in Ethiopia: More than 3 million in need of food

Jan 22, 2012 (Examiner) – About 3.2 million Ethiopians will need food and other emergency assistance during the first half of 2012, the Ethiopian government said Thursday.

Agriculture State Minister Mitiku Kassa said that, in addition to food, assistance was needed for water, sanitation, agriculture and education sectors.

The number needing assistance is down from last year, according to a report in Saturday’s edition of Brunei News.

The government estimated 4.5 million needed assistance last year.

“Periodic shocks such as droughts and heavy rains can add immediate crisis to chronic difficulties linked to high poverty levels, dependence on rain-fed agriculture, low availability of safe drinking water, poor hygiene and sanitation, and inadequate disease surveillance,” UNICEF reported. “As a result, children and women, especially pregnant women and children with poor nutritional status, are at higher risk of death and disease.”