Sunday 31 August 1997

-- The fear of famine has returned to haunt Ethiopia after poor harvests, with the northern region of Amhara and the south of the country especially under threat. Ethiopia had enjoyed a respite from famine for three years, but the Amhara disaster prevention officials were quoted as saying, that the people needing food aid had risen from 835,000 in December 1996 to 1.4 million.

Local officials say that nearly 115,000 people need aid in Gondar region alone, with just 1,600 tonnes of food having been distributed out of 189,000 needed. Studies carried out during the past six months in the south of the country indicate that the figure of around 250,000 people in need of food aid has risen to 590,000. About 12 people had died in two southern villages due to starvation.

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