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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/14/2014 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Refugees streaming in from South Sudan also adding to nation's food crisis

Stricken by locusts, as well as refugees pouring in from neighboring South Sudan, the United Nations will be sending food aid to Ethiopia. The World Food Program says that it pledges to feed nearly 6.5 million Ethiopians this year. The African nation has also seen sparse rainfall for crops this year.

There are currently half a million refugees form South Sudan in Ethiopia currently. The U.N. also provides food for millions of needy or undernourished Ethiopians, including 670,000 school children and 375,000 in HIV/AIDS programs.

There are currently half a million refugees form South Sudan in Ethiopia currently. The U.N. also provides food for millions of needy or undernourished Ethiopians, including 670,000 school children and 375,000 in HIV/AIDS programs.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/14/2014 (10 months ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Ethiopia, United Nations, South Sudan refugees, locusts, food


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "We are concerned because there is the beginning of a locust invasion in the eastern part of the country, and if it's not properly handled it could be of concern for the pastoralist population living there," WFP spokeswoman Elizabeth Byrs said at a U.N. briefing in Geneva.

"And in the northern part of Ethiopia there has been less rain than average for the third or fourth consecutive year."

Starvation never goes on vacation --

Refugees from neighboring South Sudan adds another dimension to Ethiopia's food crisis. These refugees are also putting a strain on WFP's budget for feeding new arrivals in the country. There is a risk of a budget shortfall next month.

More than 120,000 South Sudanese have crossed over into Ethiopia in the past six months, mostly women and children who are arriving "famished, exhausted and malnourished", WFP said in a statement.

There are currently half a million refugees form South Sudan in Ethiopia currently. The U.N. also provides food for millions of needy or undernourished Ethiopians, including 670,000 school children and 375,000 in HIV/AIDS programs.

While Ethiopia's overall situation has vastly improved over recent years and the economy now ranks as one of the fastest growing in Africa, many problems remain.

Malnutrition has stunted the growth of two out of every five Ethiopian children and reduced the country's workforce by eight percent, WFP said, citing Ethiopian government data.

The International Monetary Fund expects Ethiopia's economy to grow 7.5 percent in each of the next two fiscal years but says the government needs to encourage more private sector investment to prevent growth rates from falling thereafter.

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