Escalating Famine Crisis in Ethiopia: 20 Million in Need Amid Conflict and Drought


Concern is growing over a looming famine in Eastern Africa, particularly in Ethiopia, where the UN’s World Food Program estimates that 20 million people are in need of assistance. The situation is exacerbated by conflict, corruption, drought, and recent instances of aid theft, particularly affecting the war-torn regions of Tigre and Amhara. Despite some aid deliveries resuming after a suspension due to the theft of humanitarian grain, only a fraction of those in need have received food. The crisis is causing widespread malnutrition, with severe long-term effects anticipated for the affected populations.
  • 20 million people in Eastern Africa need assistance due to looming famine.
  • Conflict, corruption, and drought significantly contribute to the crisis in Ethiopia, particularly in the Tigre and Amhara regions.
  • Recent acknowledgment by the government of hundreds of deaths due to starvation in these regions.
  • Malnutrition cases have tripled in the past three months in affected areas, with children being the most affected.
  • UN and the United States temporarily halted food aid to the Tira region and later to the whole country due to a scheme by Ethiopian officials to steal humanitarian grain.
  • Aid deliveries resumed two months ago, but of over 3 million targeted individuals, only 14% have received any food.
  • One in six of Ethiopia’s 120 million population need food aid due to drought, conflict, and rising inflation.
  • Oxfam describes the situation as one of the worst humanitarian crises, exacerbated by insufficient attention and resources.
  • Accusations of a massive aid theft scheme by Ethiopian officials have led to temporary suspension of aid, worsening the situation.
  • Only 34% of the humanitarian appeal by the UN has been funded over the past year, significantly lessening the aid reaching those in need.

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