7.8 mln people need food aid in Ethiopia: official

ADDIS ABABA, June 7 (Xinhua) — 7.8 million people in Ethiopia need food assistance due to a prolonged drought worsened by the El-Nino weather condition, said a government minister on Wednesday.
Ethiopian communications minister Negeri Lencho said in a statement that the government has set aside 50 million U.S. dollars for drought relief.
In the beginning of the year, the Ethiopian government had put the number of people in need of food aid in the country at 5.6 million but later revised it to 7.2 million.
“The Ethiopian government had anticipated the drought, and as such is providing water and food to people, school feeding program to school students and animal feed to livestock,” says Lencho.
While praising the response from international donors, he admitted that other international crises are having some impact on the amount of aid the Ethiopian government is receiving for drought relief.
“Ethiopian economic growth has meant that we have better internal resources to cope with the drought, though if the crisis aggravates we will increase the amount of food supplies and monetary assistance,” said Lencho.

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