Aaron Zaidel



Summary of “Ethiopia: Thanks For Nothing,” Newsweek, December 24, 1984


Ethiopia: Thanks For Nothing” is a short article about how the Ethiopian government tried to blame western countries for the severe famine in their country instead of accepting any of the responsibility themselves.  By the middle of December 1984, the famine claimed 300,000 lives.  During a conference with food donors from western countries, the Ethiopian government said that Western nations were responsible for these lost lives because of their slow response to Ethiopian requests for famine relief.  This claim came not long after the Ethiopian government spent months trying to play down the impending famine.  The article points out the Ethiopian government did little to help their own situation.  For example, 200 million was spent in this time of need, in sprucing up the country for the tenth anniversary of its rise to power.  The article also speculates that the famine situation was worsened when peasants from rebel areas in the north were moved to new state farms in the south.