Charities have given a depressing warning about a humanitarian disaster in Ethiopia. The North African country has its worst drought for 50 years. It is expected that emergency food aid for 10 million Ethiopians will run out unless more money can be found. John Graham from the charity Save the Children said: "The international community has just three weeks to provide $245 million…to help prevent a potentially catastrophic escalation in severe malnutrition cases." He added that if these emergency funds did not arrive in time, food aid supplies would be badly hit.
Ethiopia is Africa’s second most populous country. It has had similar natural disasters before. Famine killed over one million Ethiopians in 1984. The latest drought is because of the El Nino weather phenomenon, which has affected many countries in Africa. Charities say that 400,000 Ethiopian children under the age of five will suffer from severe malnutrition. In addition, 1.7 million children and pregnant women will need treatment. Mr Graham warned that, "the window for action is rapidly closing". He said it takes four months to buy food aid and transport it into Ethiopia.