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Relief Agency sounds alarm of looming famine in Ethiopia

Catholic Relief Services, the Caritas member organisation in the USA, has said that more than 12 million people are now in immediate need of food aid in Ethiopia.

This figure represents an increase of more than one million people at risk of starvation since the last assessment in November 2002. This estimate follows a disastrous year of little or no rain and widespread crop failures that have led to critical food shortages.

Until recently, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and other relief agencies have managed to avert widespread starvation by distributing food borrowed from the Ethiopian Government's Food Security Reserve.

However areas not previously regarded as vulnerable are now in immediate need of assistance, requiring an additional 80,000 tonnes of food until December 2003, and stretching available resources dangerously thin.

"We are using reduced grain ration sizes to spread the resources to as many affected areas as possible," said Anne Bousquet, Country Representative for CRS in Ethiopia.

Neighbouring Eritrea is among other African countries faced with starvation.

Catholic Information Service for Africa

Agency warns famished Ethiopia and Eritrea 'running out of time' (21/2/03)
Catholic Relief Services | Ethiopia Faces Critical Food Shortages as Crops Fail

15 May 2003