Thursday, August 18, 2011

'Green drought' hides hunger in Ethiopia

Images of Ethiopia's leafy, green vegetation may not match everyone's idea of what a drought should look like but this is the other face of the catastrophe affecting millions in the region.

Long-anticipated rains may have fallen in parts of this landlocked country in the Horn of Africa, but they came too late to produce desperately needed crops.

"People are facing a serious food shortage, even though they're surrounded by greenery," said David Throp from children's development organization Plan International in Ethiopia.

"This year, the rains that allow seeds to germinate and crops to start to grow did not come. As a result, families were not able to harvest crops when they normally do," he continued.

The World Food Program (WFP) says it is assisting 3.7 million people in Ethiopia, mostly affected by drought, with up to 15 million people affected in the Horn of Africa as a whole. (more)