Saturday, June 21, 2008

Norway gives 500 million birr to Ethiopia drought-affected people, via the Daily Monitor (Addis Ababa): Norway has allocated Birr 500 million [very roughly, about 283 Norwegian kronor, or US$55 million] in humanitarian assistance for people affected by the drought in Ethiopia, according to a press statement from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Addis Ababa. The funding is being channelled through the UN, the Red Cross and other NGOs that are already working in the country and that are familiar with its needs, Raymond Johansen, State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was quoted as saying.

Drought and rising food prices have resulted in a critical situation in several regions of Ethiopia. Last week, the UN warned of widespread food shortages as a result of serious drought and rising food prices. According to the UN, more than three million Ethiopians are in acute need of assistance, and the number of people suffering from malnutrition is increasing.

"Even though there has now been some rainfall, important crops have already been lost. The grazing will improve gradually, but it will take time before new crops can be harvested," said Johansen. "Our aim is to mitigate the consequences of the humanitarian crisis now affecting people in Ethiopia," he added….

Map showing location of Ethiopia by "Rei-artur," Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation license, Version 1.2

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