"Drought and Famine: Ethiopia Faces Shortages"

African Research Bulletin, October 31, 1989.

Extreme food shortages are expected for the year. In spite of the drought, the government is anticipating an adequate national harvest this year, excluding small regional pockets, and thus feels that nationally grown and internationally provided food will be available to prevent starvation, unlike the famine in 1984. However, regions under rebel control, such as of Eritrea, Tigre and Wollo, will not be as accessible to hunger relief packages.

In September, the World Food Programme (WFP) appealed for 242,000 tons of food to feed 1.7 million people, but the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission has not made an appeal for international aid as of October. The WFP has reported that relief stocks are at their lowest level since 1984 and is asking for donations, remembering that distribution normally takes 6 months from the appeal time. The United States and the European community have pledged a total of 200,000 tons of food aid, and are expecting that current structures will be adequate in transporting the food to the necessary points in government control. However, it is uncertain whether or not the aid will be available to the people in Eritrea, Tigre and Wollo, where food shortages will be the most blatant.

Summary by Cheryl Chancey