Hunger stalks Ethiopia

By November 4, 2009

Ethiopia (MNN) — 25 years after
the 1984 famine that killed a million people, Ethiopia finds herself stalked
once more by hunger. This time, over six million people are at risk of
starvation.

Crop failure coupled with the loss
of pasture for livestock prompted the government to make an international
appeal for emergency food aid.

The crisis is blamed on the drought
that has hit much of the Horn of Africa, including Somalia and Kenya. However, government experts say drought is
especially disastrous in Ethiopia because more than 80 percent of people live
off the land. 

The effect of the drought is compounded
by dependence on rain-fed agriculture and ineffective farming practices. To complicate matters, some areas face a fierce insurgency. Aid groups say their movements in these areas
are limited by military restrictions.

It's a desperate situation. Compassion International is sending $1.4 million to help. Compassion
has been sending help to address food
source insecurity; the distribution of more funding is planned before year's
end.

While the money is earmarked for
direct food relief and medical supplies, some will also be used to help develop
small businesses.

Mark Hanlon, senior vice
president of Compassion International USA, says, "In these communities that
are continuously dealing with food source issues, we are helping individuals to
withstand and perhaps even avoid food crises in the long term — not just by
helping them in the short-term but also by supporting small business
enterprises."

Their work is literally lifesaving.
In some areas of Ethiopia where
Compassion works, the food that registered children receive at the child
development centers is all that sustains them.

Compassion partners with local
churches to act as the hands and feet of Christ and to share the hope of the
Gospel. You can help. Click here.

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