Horn of Africa: Too great a burden

After three successive years of drought and crop failures, the Horn of Africa is once again facing the prospect of hunger and starvation. The country worst affected is Ethiopia where an estimated eight million people are said to be at risk. It comes at a time when Ethiopia is involved in a border conflict with her northern neighbour, Eritrea.

The World Today Updated 27 October 2020 Published 1 May 2000 5 minute READ

Peter Biles

World Affairs Correspondent, BBC News

It was a familiar gathering. Ethiopian government officials, members of the donor community, relief workers and journalists exchanged greetings as they took their seats in the Nyala Room of Addis Ababa’s Hilton Hotel.

The United Nations had arranged a briefing on the humanitarian situation, in advance of the visit to the Horn of Africa by the UN Secretary General’s special envoy, Catherine Bertini, who is the Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme. In his opening address, the UN Resident Co-ordinator, Samuel Nyambi, immediately highlighted the problem: ‘Ethiopia needs 836,000 metric tonnes of food assistance this year’.

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