Ethiopia Plans Resettlement of People Affected by Looming Hunger Crisis

Ethiopia: Mother Lula Robe, with baby Nasre, holds cooking oil provided by the UN’s World Food Program. Most of the family’s livestock died during the current drought. (William Davison)

News Update:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

“In Ethiopia’s rain-starved eastern badlands, livestock is the sole asset for most. Swaddled in robes, pastoralist families traverse huge tracts searching for water and pasture for their herds, uprooting camps as they go. When seasonal rains fail, life becomes a battle for survival,” reports

“As aid agencies scramble to feed some 11.5 million people suffering from what is being called the Horn of Africa’s worst drought in 60 years, Ethiopia’s government is enacting a resettlement program that it hopes will be a longlasting solution to a longstanding burden.”

Read More.

World Bank Drought Plan Focuses on Ethiopia, Kenya (VOA)
By Gabe Joselow | Nairobi

July 29, 2011

The World Bank Friday unveiled new details of its plan to help victims of drought in the Horn of Africa. The bulk of the effort focuses on Ethiopia and Kenya, not Somalia.

The bank’s Country Director for East Africa Johannes Zutt says over $600 million is being made available to those affected by the drought in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

But only $9 million is going directly toward disaster relief in Somalia, the worst hit country in East Africa.

Zutt says the problem is access.

Read more at VOA.

Watch New Video: Horn of Africa Famine Puts 11 Million People at Risk of Hunger (PBS News)

World Reacts to Avert Famine in East Africa

Tadias Magazine
News Update

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New York (Tadias) – The UN’s World Food Program has started airlifting supplies of emergency food into the Somali capital Mogadishu, as relief and fundraising efforts continued for millions of people affected by the looming hunger crisis in drought-hit areas of East Africa.

At an emergency meeting held at the Food and Agriculture Organization headquarters in Rome recently, WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran warned the international community the problem could become a wider catastrophe unless immediate action is taken. “The drought has swept the Horn of Africa where more than 11 million people are in need of food assistance,” she said. “We are particularly worried about Somalia right now and it is vital that we reach those at the epicentre of the famine with food assistance.”

The United Nations says the developing crisis is the largest famine in 60 years. Nearly 12 million people are thought to be at risk of food insecurity in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Eritrea and Djibouti. Ethiopians constitute 4.56 million of the current total food insecure populations in the region. According to UNICEF, 2.23 million children in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya are estimated to be acutely malnourished. And nearly 720,000 children are at risk of death without urgent assistance.

“The area straddling Somalia, Ethiopia and northern Kenya, has been dubbed the “triangle of death” as the worst drought in more than fifty years grips the area,” writes Stewart M. Patrick, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and Director of the Program on International Institutions and Global Governance. “An estimated thirty percent of children are malnourished, many arriving in refugee camps so “emaciated and with skin lesions so deep that you could see their bones showing in their skulls and arms.” According to testimony by State Department official Reuben Brigety, acute malnutrition has reached 50% and 40%, respectively, in Ethiopia and Kenya—far above the 15% threshold for an international humanitarian emergency.”

Per AFP: “Officials said the UN had received about $US1 billion ($A924.56 million) since first launching an appeal for the region in November 2010 but needs a billion more by the end of the year to cope with the emergency. The World Bank on Monday pledged more than $500 million, with the bulk of the money set to go towards long-term projects to aid livestock farmers while $12 million would be for immediate assistance to those worst hit by the crisis. However charities have slammed low aid pledges and say not enough is being done.”

Read more.

Cover image: A woman from southern Somalia struggles to build a makeshift shelter from tree branches at a new camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, on July 13. (Mohamed Sheikh Nor / AP)

Historic Famine in East Africa Conjures Depressing Sense of Deja Vu

Tadias Magazine

Updated, July 27, 2011

New York (Tadias) – A humanitarian crisis of historic proportions is unfolding in drought-hit areas of East Africa, including Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The United Nations says the pending disaster is the largest famine in 60 years.

The UN warns relief is needed urgently and should not be ignored or the world will once again be witnessing the repeat of history, this time on a much larger scale. Unless quickly prevented, nearly 12 million people are thought to be at risk of food insecurity in the Horn of Africa this year. That’s an alarmingly large number of people affected in contrast to the widely publicized 1984 famine that killed approximately one million people. Ethiopians constitute 4.56 million of the current total food insecure populations in the region.

Sadly, the familiar images of hungry children with skinny, malnourished bodies on television screens and front-pages of newspapers around the world, conjures depressing sense of déjà vu for the international community. According to UNICEF, in total 2.23 million children in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are estimated to be acutely malnourished. And nearly 720,000 children are at risk of death without immediate assistance.

Dr. Reuben Brigety, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, said in a testimony before the House Subcommittee on Africa earlier this month that “in Ethiopia, global acute malnutrition rates close to 50% have been reported among newly arriving refugee children.” Dr. Brigety added: “This situation is substantially worse than when I last visited the Dolo Odo refugee camps in Ethiopia in February of this year. Newly arriving children are now dying in the refugee camp at the rate of two to three per day.”

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization held an emergency meeting in Rome on Monday to discuss campaign strategy to moblize and deliver aid to the region. The meeting was attended by representatives from the G20 countries, ministers and senior officials from UN’s 191 member nations, other U.N. bodies, NGOs and regional development banks.

The UN has officially declared famine in parts of Somalia and it has designated large areas in Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya as a crisis or an emergency zone.

Watch: UN Declares Famine in Somalia, Channel 4 News

“This summer has been an unspeakable nightmare for millions of children in the Horn of Africa,” said President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Caryl Stern. “We cannot control the weather patterns that have led to drought and famine, but we can do something about helping those who suffer from it. The sooner we act, the more children’s lives can be saved. As little as $10 can feed a child for 10 days.”

UNICEF estimates it will need $100 million over the next six months for a massive scale up of operations to reach children in the drought affected areas with emergency and preventative assistance.

“UNICEF is using every means possible to reach every child. There simply can be no compromise on the objective to keep children and their families alive,” said Elhadj As Sy, Regional Director for UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa. “We appreciate the generosity of the international community and those contributions are already making a difference. We urgently need more funds to meet the enormous need.”
For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution to relief efforts in the Horn of Africa, please contact the U.S. Fund for UNICEF: Website: Or call toll free: 1-800-4UNICEF (1-800-486-4233). Text: Text “FOOD” to UNICEF (864233) to donate $10. Mail: 125 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038.

Cover photo: Aden Salaad, 2, looks up at his mother as she bathes him in a tub at a Doctors Without Borders hospital, where Aden is receiving treatment for malnutrition, in Dagahaley Camp, outside Dadaab, Kenya, on Monday, July 11. (Rebecca Blackwell / AP)

Video: East Africa Food Crisis – Somalia Faces Famine as al-Qaida Threat Halts International Aid

Famine Affects Millions In Horn Of Africa (NPR)

49 Responses to “Ethiopia Plans Resettlement of People Affected by Looming Hunger Crisis”

  1. 1 Meriam Jul 23rd, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Save the children…they have done nothing wrong!

  2. 2 Liya Jul 23rd, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    This is very sad. As a mother, I can’t imagine the pain of those parents who cannot feed their children? I think I will go mad.

  3. 3 Bob Jul 23rd, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    There is no famine in Eritrea.

  4. 4 Temeramari Jul 23rd, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    This famine news seems to be mushrooming, expanding, and developing by the day. It has been covered all over the U.S. and European media for the last two weeks and there seems no end insight.

  5. 5 Angry Abesha Jul 23rd, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea are now referred to as a “triangle of hunger” What a shame! and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

  6. 6 Tekeste MN Jul 23rd, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Dear Bob,

    Are you Baghdad Bob by chance? Why are you trying to cover up? Of course, people in Eritrea are starving! Ask the UN. Of course, the government will never admit. Are you kidding? Have people lost grip on reality or what?


  7. 7 Famine is a crime Jul 23rd, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    This is a result of both nature and human stupidity. Drought is a result of nature. We can not control when the rain is going to come. But we can control famine, which is caused by human stupidity. Famine is a period of mass starvation, disease, malnutrition and emigration following a drought. Famine should be a crime. For example, in the United states there is also drought but there is no famine. Why? Because it will not be tolerated. But the bigger question is when are we going to shade this begging habit as Ethiopians for food every five years or so? We have been reduced too permanent beggars! It is shameful. We are almost loosing our sense of confidence as a country. Ethiopia should have been a global bread-basket, not the world’s #1 beggar of bread. Why are 4 million Ethiopians starving out of 11 million total in the region? That’s very scary. Why? I mean Famine should be outlawed. Period! People in East Africa should seek constitutional guarantee of no famine! Famine should be a crime.There is no reason to beg, no reason for one Ethiopian-soul to starve to death. No reason at all. Since this is a repeating problem, it should be solved permanently with constitutionally enforced policy. If there is constitutional right to food, then all bellyful. Problem solved.

  8. 8 Tirusew Jul 23rd, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Not again???

  9. 9 Michelle Hasenjager Jul 23rd, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    I feel such sadness for the people of the Horn of Africa. I really hope that there will be more coverage so that more people will be made aware of the help that is so desperately needed. Hopefully after the international emergency meeting in Rome on Monday more coverage will be given.

  10. 10 Hmm.. Jul 24th, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    This is a sad sad story.

  11. 11 Sirak (The ashamed one) Jul 25th, 2011 at 1:21 am

    I like the idea of empowering the law to hold people accountable for famine. The international community should not forget that it’s also much better to teach people how to fish than to give them a handout of fish. You get me?

  12. 12 Sirak (The ashamed one) Jul 25th, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    There is no Famine in Eritrea. End of story. Yes, check with the UN.

  13. 13 Ras Mitat Jul 26th, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Only nature is to blame for this famine. That’s my take.

  14. 14 ANNIE Jul 26th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Along with food and water, these people should also be offered the choice to take birth control. There are families in africa that have 7 of more children. I do not understand this logic, if the parents have hardly enough nuritientment for themselves why in Gods green earth would they reproduce once, let alone 7 times!!!! I am and “average” american making about 30,000 a year and I know I would NEVER think of having a child unless i know i could properly feed and water it!!! I am sorry to be harsh but, have you ever hear of the saying “survival of the fittest?” Well if these people do not start either A. Having only the amout of children they can properly feed and water OR B. taking birth control this is going to continue to happen. BIRTH CONTROL WILL CONTROL POPULATION ISSUES AND THERE FOR THERE WILL BE MORE FOOD AND WATER FOR EVERYONE!!!

  15. 15 Mimi Jul 27th, 2011 at 12:49 am

    The simple truth is famine is caused by poverty. If these people have money to buy food, they would not be starving. There are many mega rich people in the same countries that are not starving because they have money.

    Only if we had women leaders, this BS would not take place!


  16. 16 MuwantEri Jul 27th, 2011 at 3:30 am



  17. 17 Eden Asnake Jul 27th, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    I full halfheartedly second that Famine should be a crime! To tell you the truth, I have had it. I grew up in this country and when I was a teen I endured some disgusting jokes from ignorant classmates in high school. I remember a girl once who was jealous that her boyfriend apparently looks at me, got big laughs when she told the class that Ethiopians were so skinny that they all feet in one bathtub. Ever since, I was determined to educate people all the other beautiful things about Ethiopia that they did not know about. Unfortunately, here we are again to square one. My heart is broken because I feel helpless. Do our leaders know that we are all crying inside for a better day than this? Who is standing by our brothers and sisters who are in need at this time of hardship? Who is taking responsibility for this mess? We Ethiopians are brilliant, tolerant, spiritual, hardworking people. We can do much better than this. Surely, we can conquer famine and even more. Dir biyabir Anbesa yasir.

    This too shall pass (yihem yalfal). But we should ask one question of the leaders: If you are not there helping a dying family member, then what are you good for? Enough is enough.

  18. 18 Tarik Astemari Jul 27th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Humans learn history so that they don’t repeat its mistakes. It may help to put things in perspective if we look at the Day That Shook The World more than two decades ago when BBC broke the Great Ethiopian famine story on 23 October 1984. BBC turned the world’s attention to the terrible famines in Ethiopia. The BBC’s pictures of extreme suffering were so harrowing that they inspired people into mass charitable action, producing benefit concerts and fundraisers of all kinds. You Watch original footage from the famines in this British Pathé video at

  19. 19 Rebash Aug 6th, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Famine suck!!

  20. 20 Meklit Aug 7th, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Nature and “human-stupidity” are to blame. But the bigger and most important question is, what are you doing, as an individual, for your country right now? As the new generation, we must realize that everybody has failed Ethiopia. The administration is not even to be mentioned. I have no idea what the heck they are doing in general and I don’t even want to think about them anymore. I have lost hope. Instead of crying and complaining though, we need to start envisioning a new Ethiopia beyond the current government. A group of us here in D.C. have decided to focus more on current reality and take matters into our own hands. In stead of expecting others to do it for us, we are organizing a fundraiser to help our brothers and sisters who are in urgent need of food. It is time to take individual responsibility here. Focus on our people instead of the obvious and irrelevant, which is a vexation to spirit as it is. And that’s the last thing we need right now. Eventually, all things will fall into place.

  21. 21 Addis Aug 8th, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Reading the comment itself explain the total confusion to the causes of famine and a continued denial of the reasons by the government that has the primary responsibility and the international community cover up (diplomatic hiccup) to tell the truth.

    The ignorance of the pubic did not help. With all kinds of bizarre explanation out of ignorance, political expediency, and self interest, in some cases pure cruelty it will be forgotten until the next round to recycle the same thing. Never the less, there is no one to blame but the government because of corruption, incompetency and political crudity.

    Without getting in detail and complicated explanation; what possible reasons a government export food grain and begs for the same thing to feed its own people? Could corruption be a reason?

    Tadias, media supposed to get to the bottom of it to educate readers.

  22. 22 Meklit Aug 8th, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I don’t see anything new that the media can bring to light other than the bare facts which are laid bare in front of the world.

  23. 23 Ras Mitat Aug 8th, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    I agree meklit. I feel your pain.

  24. 24 Addis Aug 9th, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Miklit, do not close your mind by claiming you know it all. The problem is complex but yet simple to solve.

    If you follow the food system carefully you will identify the causes and deal with them one by one from the source. If you are reacting to the events, like most do then what you see is what you get.

    Let me give you an idea what I meant. From the political end there is food as a political weapon. The article briefly described the regime using it as such.

    From economic end there are profit motives with the local merchants that are almost always associated with the regime. At the international level donor countries’ agribusiness have their own interest to sell food for aid agencies and the regime wants to put its hands on the food aid, in most cases to profit out of it.

    At the social level those with power (culturally, politically, and institutionally) make decision and get first priority than any. And finally, the urban consumer gets priority than rural farmers to get the available food.

    You can see how complex it gets to solve it by an article in reaction to mass famine that was looming way before it reached to this level. And the reaction of the regime speaks volumes to their knowledge of the problem and rampant corruption they are involved in.

    It is the lack of political will for reason described above. If you can not see it or hear about it, it does not mean it is not there. But, government sanctioned corruption is the number one problem of famine. Noting will be solved until the regime is forced to come clean. There is entrenched interest group associated with the regime that makes money out of the victims, and only the media can dig in to expose the truth so that these parasites can be force out of the business of corruption.

    Do your homework before you make conclusion and come up with sentimental solutions.

  25. 25 Nani Tamrat Mekonnen Aug 9th, 2011 at 12:55 am

    I am always amused by some persons misplaced notion that just because they act aggressive and insulting that there point is necessarily stronger. In fact it is the opposite. It’s a turn off. I am referring to the line: “Do your homework before you make conclusion and come up with sentimental solutions,” delivered at the end of what is otherwise a well reasoned observation about famine.

    [Part of this comment has been deleted for guideline violations]

    Meklitiye, you shine like gold because your thoughts are pure, new, and signals the hope for the new Ethiopia! And Ayzoch my sister…deep inside we’re all thinking the same thing like you. Let us know about the upcoming fundraiser…I am in Virgina so would love to participate, help!

    Peace and Love!

  26. 26 Meklit Aug 9th, 2011 at 1:57 am


    Your point is well taken! Thank you!


  27. 27 Ras Mitat Aug 9th, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Nani Ooops!

  28. 28 Addis Aug 10th, 2011 at 12:19 am

    Ms. Miklit, my apology if I offended you.

    Ato Tamerat,

    By no means I was attempting to convince people like you. I was reaching out to those who reacted to the news without understanding the complexity of the politics, the greed, corruption and the culture of the poverty economy that is causing so much suffering of millions beyond what the evening news tells us.

    Your amateur psychological assessment of me (‘abused as a child or was exposed to violence at an early age’ and ‘it is a mental issue’ is bizarre.

    Though I understand where you are coming from I am very puzzled how you came up with the ‘hate, hate, hate’ thing.

    Thank you Miklit for your graciousness, that is my Abesha.

  29. 29 Rules for Posting Comments Aug 10th, 2011 at 12:30 am

    All comments will be approved before posting. Tadias encourages thoughtful discussion, and will not censor comments based on points of view.

    However, comments must follow these rules:

    - Avoid long commentary and stay on topic
    - Avoid personal attacks and inflammatory language
    - Absolutely no hate language, obscenity, profanity, and vulgarity

    We reserve the right to remove or edit comments for guideline violations, including personal attacks and excessive length.

  30. 30 JQ Aug 10th, 2011 at 1:10 am


  31. 31 Dereje Aug 10th, 2011 at 1:14 am

    Famine is the worst form of violence.

  32. 32 Nani Tamrat Mekonnen Aug 10th, 2011 at 7:51 am

    I did not mean to violate any “guidelines” I was simply stating the obvious and observable fact that aggressive language does not necessarily mean smart argument. I have nothing against the person who made the comment, i have no clue who he or she is (Wizerit or Wizero – Ato or Gashe) it makes no difference to me. But I find it even more amusing, as you all are my witness in the response, that the female the target, the higher the intensity. This type of chauvinism, ignorance, arrogance and misogyny is in keeping with attitudes towards women more in 1711, rather than 2011. Hope this fact does not violate the “guidelines.” Thank you in advance.

  33. 33 Addis Aug 10th, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Tadias Editor,

    It is interesting your rule changed after I responded to unprovoked attack. In the process the main issue of famine and who is responsible, once again put aside as the person wanted.

    My challenge was for you as a media to educate your audience by getting to the bottom of the cause. You ended up restricting the issue I raised from further exploration.

    Again I urge you to dig deeper to get the bottom of it. It would not go away unless media like you do what a media suppose to do. You can no afford to accept the business as the usual under such catastrophe.

  34. 34 Meklit Aug 10th, 2011 at 10:45 am

    We are all saying the same thing in our own individual ways. There is no need for apology.

  35. 35 Melekot Aug 10th, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Response to Bob: Even though, Eritrea has so far denied any shortages and accused the international community of crying “crocodile tears” over famine victims in Ethiopia and Somalia, concerns are mounting of a possible hidden famine there.

  36. 36 Guest Aug 10th, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Does anyone know how many international charities have local presence in the Horn, besides the Red Cross and UNICEF? A bunch of us on FaceBook are trying to send funds but we would like it be earmarked for “children famine relief.” I would appreciate your recommendations.

  37. 37 Eden Aug 10th, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Why do people go hungry in the world where there is plenty to eat? that’s the real question here.

  38. 38 Ras Mitat Aug 10th, 2011 at 10:16 pm


  39. 39 Ras Mitat Aug 10th, 2011 at 11:49 pm


    That’s great. Donations can be as simple as sending a text. Save the Children has what’s called The 100 Campaign: $100 feeds one child for 100 days. You can “Pledge to Fund-raise” by raising $100 on your own or through social networks by asking 10 friends to donate $10 each. Give through the Facebook Cause page or text “SURVIVE” to 20222 to donate $10 from the United States. You can also participate in the “Pledge to Friend-raise” by spreading the word through Facebook and Twitter. Go online for more information. Save the Children is feeding underweight children, providing life-saving medical treatment, and getting clean water to remote communities in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.

  40. 40 Famine crime Aug 10th, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    yes, famine is the worst crime and i like the ideas about investigation including corruption which is root cause of famine. there are more ethiopian media professionals and journalists in jail than any other citizens in the world. ethiopia is the NUMBER TWO biggest jailer of journalist in africa following the NUMBER ONE jailer eritrea. and also media needs to investigate both the cause of famine and media problem in Ethiopia. is true that more ethiopian journalist are in prison than chinese or cuba? ethiopian diaspora media is doing a good job lately. addis voice has been doing excellent investigation in the voa case that are having results. many amazing Ethiopian intelligentsia have been writing bout the current starvation on ethiomedia, ethiopianreveiew , and jimma times and other diaspora outlates. voa amharic has boot on the ground and maybe they can help with the famine coverage from the inside. ethiopia has a media locked-down. bbc style investigations by Ethiopian journalist in Ethiopia is impossible. It will mean life or death situation. PLEASE PLEASE READ ABOUT MEDIA CRIME IN ETHIOPIA AT CPJ.ORG.

  41. 41 Martha Aug 10th, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    Don’t forget the local independent home-grown, African charitable organizations to consider.

  42. 42 Guest Aug 11th, 2011 at 12:49 am


    Thank you for the recommendation. We got that one already from CNN.

    Just wondering though who is Natnaiel? As far as I can tell, I am the only one who asked the question and I am not who you think I am. Please don’t confuse me with a real human being in the real world. Just a thought.

  43. 43 Ras Mitat Aug 12th, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Ras ooops :-)

  44. 44 Addis Aug 15th, 2011 at 3:53 am

    Below is the link of the official website of the government of Ethiopia and Ministry of Health. Not a word said about the looming famine in the country and the government response that affected millions of people.

    Can someone explain to us what the regime in Addis Ababa doing to galvanize the world besides accusing the BBC for telling the world about the famine at least 5 million people.

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