Ethiopia’s leader, Hailemariam Deselagn, calls for international aid to help combat the rising global food crisis. He also calls for more worldwide recognition of the issue that has already hit pockets of South Africa, USA, and Australia; leaving more than 3 billion people in poverty.
Several aid agencies have estimated that $1.4billion is needed in aid, and that roughly half of that amount has been collected so far. The appeal is the third largest in the world after those for Syria and Yemen.
Ethiopia “should not be neglected by any means despite all the other crises that are going on elsewhere in the world,” Prime Minister Hailemariam Deselagn told the Associated Press news agency in an interview.
Thus far, the US has been the biggest donor; giving upwards of $532million to in humanitarian aid to Ethiopia since October 2014. However, the Ethiopian government trails only slightly behind; spending about $380 million of its own money.
“My country deserves more support because we are also sheltering some 750,000 refugees from neighboring countries that need food aid,” Hailemariam said, referring to the fact that the Horn of Africa country hosts a large number of mainly South Sudanese, Eritrean and Somali refugees.
“If something goes wrong, it is the international community who has not come in. The aid provided to us so far is very little and it often came very late. I urge organisations like UNICEF to come in if they think this is a worst case scenario. Just talking is not a solution.”
Ethiopia has experienced similar crises; in the 1980s, a drought – exacerbated by a civil war – killed hundreds of thousands of people and brought the country global attention.