The lives of 20 million people in Ethiopia are at risk due to lack of food

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Hunger has spread to more than 20 million Ethiopians facing conflicts in the north, drought in the south and a decrease in food support and nutritional from next month, the World Food Program (WFP) warned on Thursday.

“The combination of conflict and drought has caused inflation to skyrocket,” the WFP said, detailing that as of April, Ethiopia’s food price index rose 43 percent compared to the same month last year.

Vegetable oil and grain prices, meanwhile, are up more than 89% and 37% year-on-year.

The effect of war

The UN agency indicated that 19 months of war have left over thirteen million people in the north in need of food assistancemainly in conflict-affected areas in the Afar, Amhara and Tigray regions.

In the last two months, since the government announced a humanitarian truce, food and humanitarian supplies have been able to reach the Tigray region, the WFP reported.

But while his staff on the ground has delivered more than 100,000 tons of food since April 1, enough to feed 5.9 million people for a month, fuel deliveries have not kept pace.

Less than half of the two million liters of fuel needed have entered the region in recent weeks.

WFP was finally able to meet the food needs of over 800,000 people in Tigray and has just completed its most recent deliveries of emergency food rations to 1.3 million people in Afar and Amhara.

in Tigray, more than 20% of children under the age of five and half of pregnant and lactating women are malnourished, the agency stressed.

32% of families in one of the five administrative areas of the Afar region and 16% in Amhara reported that during the previous three months, malnutrition brought their children under the age of five to the health center.

people wake up hungry

In southern and southeastern Ethiopia, some 7.4 million people they wake up hungry every day as the country grapples with its fourth consecutive failed rainy season.

On the other hand, the WFP predicted that the domino effect of the war in Ukraine will exacerbate the crisis Ethiopian food security.

With more than three-quarters of the World Food Program’s and government’s wheat coming from Ukraine or Russia, the precarious situation there threatens to push its cost, as well as that of fertilizer, beyond the reach of millions of farmers. Ethiopians.

Financing urgency

In addition, severe funding shortfalls have led WFP to warn of a looming malnutrition crisis unless you receive urgent resources.

Funding to treat more than 1.4 million acutely malnourished women and children in northern Ethiopia is fast drying up and WFP has only been able to provide nutritional treatment to 40% of mothers and children affected in northern Ethiopia between January and April. That means 560,000 treatments of the 1.4 million planned.

Lack of resources has also forced rations to be cut for more than 700,000 refugees, who are now receive only half of their minimum nutritional needs.

WFP aims to reach more than 11 million of the most vulnerable people in the next six months, but to do so it urgently needs $470 million.

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