Last week, the Ethiopian Governmet told the world that more than five million people need urgent food aid. Millions of people in Somali, Afar, Oromia and South regions have been highly affected by drought caused by irregular and insufficient rainfall that occurred during Spring & Autumn in these regions due to the El Nino effects that visit Ethiopia every ten years.
However, the government is too late to bring this issue to the attention of the world. It shouldn’t have been after thousands of people died. Initially, when the international organizations asked to provide humanitarian aid to the people affcted by drought, they said,” We are food self sufficient and we are capable of feeding our people.” Actually, they did this simply for a political reason. If a country that claims to have achieved a double digit( usually 11%; I don’t exactly understand why they love this figure so much) economical growth for the last 10 years, to go and ask for food aid for above 5 million people, would be a big shame for them. So, they kept silent and at some points they even tried to hide the facts on the ground.
Finally, after thousands of children and mothers died, because they knew that the problem is getting international attention, they came out and publicly aknowledged that 5million+ people are in need of food. During a press conference last week, the Minister of Govermnet Communication Affairs, Ato Redwan Said, ”We are asking international organizations and nations for aid because we don’t want use the budget allocated for the different projects being undertaken in the country to help the drought affected people. If the project money is used for this purpose, it will slow the country’s economic progress.” Well, Mr Redwan, it is legally and morally wrong, to construct roads and dams when millions of people are starving to death. I believe priority should be given to saving the lives of people.