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Ethiopian Government Dismisses Need for Food Aid

Government Communications Affairs Office (GCAO) says the country is self-reliant for any emergency food assistance in response to an impending drought season in large parts of Ethiopia.

Lack and severe shortage of rain has affected farmers and pastoralists in eastern, north eastern, part of central and rift valley region of the country. The drought has also caused loss of livestock in border towns of Afar and Somali regions.

Redwan Hussien, minister of GCAO, acknowledged the problem at a press conference to local media on Thursday but dismissed the need for international food assistance.

“We are able to feed ourselves and hence the magnitude of the problem has not been felt by the majority of the public including in areas affected by the shortage of rain,” Redwan said.

The rainfall disparity is linked to the recurring El Nino phenomenon, which has impacted the rain distribution in Ethiopia in a roughly ten year cycle.

“The country was flooded with food assistance during the same cycle in 1997 and 2005,” recalled Redwan. “This time, the government has been taking measures to provide assistance to people and animal.”

Redwan said the government has been providing food assistance to people affected by the phenomenon.

“We will continue to provide food assistance including fortified food supply to avert any human loss.” Redwan said.

The minister said the government has allocated 700 million birr for food assistance and other supports to further mitigate the impact.

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Author: Neamin Ashenafi
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