(NRC)―The humanitarian crisis has worsened in drought-stricken Ethiopia, with almost three million additional people in need of humanitarian aid this year.

8.5 million people are in dire need in Ethiopia due to worsening drought and a deteriorating food security situation, up from 5.6 million in January, according to the United Nations. Despite this, the international aid appeal for the country is only one quarter funded, nine months into the year.

“Civilians living in rural areas in the south and east of the country are the worst affected,” said Gabriella Waaijman, Regional Director of the Norwegian Refugee Council. “The nation is facing its worst drought in decades. 8.5 million men, women and children need immediate food assistance. We are calling on donors to urgently scale up the funding needed to meet the massive needs we are witnessing.”

The periodic heating event El Niño is in its third successive year of wreaking havoc on lives and livelihoods in Ethiopia. This has left the country among the most drought-affected countries of Africa.

“You can see the situation disintegrate. The lack of rain has claimed thousands of animals. I have lost 950 out of 1000 livestock that I had,” said Abdio Mohamed, 60, a pastoralist in the Darso Keble camp for displaced people in the Somali Region.

Low spring rains this year in the southern and eastern parts of the country have further intensified the drought conditions.

Continue reading this story at Norwegian Refugee Council
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