Ethiopia Faces Severe Hunger in East Until October, Fewsnet Says

Some eastern areas of Ethiopia will suffer severe hunger and increased deaths through at least September after a drought last year resulted in two harvests being missed, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network said.

Across Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous nation, the number of children treated for malnutrition in February increased 14 percent from January and 47 percent from a year earlier, the organization created by the U.S. Agency for International Development said in a report published on its website.

“Without substantial increases in humanitarian assistance, increases in acute malnutrition are likely through the peak of the lean season in September,” it said.

More than 10 million Ethiopians need food aid this year and almost 8 million are supported by a safety net program, which combined amounts to almost a fifth of the population. A $1.4-billion appeal is about half funded. An emergency means at least one in five households suffering “very high acute malnutrition and excess mortality” even with aid, according to Fewsnet’s website.

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