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10 Dec 2011 description
report Voice of America

Edward Yeranian | Cairo

At Cairo's posh Gazeera Club, workers leave the showers running as they sit nearby drinking tea and chatting. Large quantities of water pour down the drain as water pipes around the city and its suburbs run dry.

For inhabitants of Cairo’s poor neighborhoods, water only infrequently arrives via government pipes. In order to cook and stay hydrated, says resident Hossam Abdel Razaq, housewives trek to a local water dealer and buy the precious liquid for 25 cents. When water does briefly flow, he adds, kids run to the faucets to drink.

06 Dec 2011 description
report Voice of America

Kim Lewis | Washington D.C.

Ethiopia has opened a new camp for Somali refugees in hopes of relieving the overcrowded conditions at the Dollo Ado camp.

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says the new camp, Bur Amino, is the fifth one in the region.

“We will be moving people stage by stage. The first relocation of 384 people took place on November 30th,” said UNHCR spokesperson Stiofainin Nic Iomhaird, who is in Dollo Ado.

Another group of about 500 was to moved Monday, December 5th, followed yet another on Thursday, December 8th.

29 Oct 2011 description
report Voice of America

Sprawling refugee camps have sprung up recently in the parched deserts of East Africa to handle the mass exodus from famine-stricken Somalia. Aid agencies at first scrambled to keep pace as countless starving families arrived seeking help. Child mortality rates skyrocketed to several times above emergency levels. A massive infusion of humanitarian resources, though, now appears to be turning the tide.

Dr. Monica Thallinger treats dozens of severe malnutrition cases each day at Hilaweyn, the newest of four Somali refugee camps in Ethiopia.

23 Sep 2011 description
report Voice of America

A parasite known as kala azar is said to infect half-a-million people worldwide, killing up to 60,000 people each year. Spread through the bite of a sandfly, its symptoms are fever, weight loss and swelling of the spleen and liver.

While effective treatment exists, the disease hasn't garnered the worldwide attention of diseases like malaria, and the deadly parasite has long been neglected by donors and governments.

This week, East African health officials met in Nairobi to discuss efforts to combat the disease.

30 Aug 2011 description
report Voice of America

In response to the ongoing crisis in the Horn of Africa, the World Bank is planning to provide Kenya with tens of millions of dollars to improve the country's defenses against future droughts.

The drought and famine currently rippling through east Africa has shown no signs of slowing. With governments, businesses and people around the world ramping up relief efforts, the World Bank has also decided to intervene.

25 Aug 2011 description
report Voice of America

Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa

African Union officials say they hope to raise hundreds of millions of dollars at an international pledging conference for victims of drought and famine in the Horn of Africa. The conference is expected to attract several African leaders who will be at AU headquarters for a series of high-level meetings on Libya.

23 Aug 2011 description
report Voice of America

An spokesman for the African Union says final preparations are being made for the scheduled August 25 “pledge conference” in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

Organized by the continental body, the meeting aims to raise funds to help relief efforts in hunger-stricken East Africa, which has created hundreds of thousands refugees and internally displaced.

El-Ghassim Wane said the A.U. has been providing support delivering food and protecting relief workers.

17 Aug 2011 description
report Voice of America

Peter Clottey

An official of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says regional leaders have agreed to make financial contributions towards combating the drought and famine in East Africa.

Sonny Ugoh, communications director of the sub-regional body, says ECOWAS has expressed concern about the food shortage crisis and will continue to help provide assistance to those affected.

13 Aug 2011 description
report Voice of America

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says it will start moving Somali refugee families into a new area of Kenya’s overcrowded Dadaab refugee complex. The new site, known as Kambioos, is close to the Hagadera camp, one of Dadaab’s three refugee camps.

More than 70,0000 Somalis fleeing drought, famine and conflict have arrived at Kenya’s Dadaab camp over the past two months, pushing the overall population to about 440,000. The new influx adds to the existing chaotic conditions of the overcrowded refugee complex.

09 Aug 2011 description
report Voice of America

Ethiopians awoke Tuesday to news that food prices had increased nearly 50 percent over the past year. They didn’t need to be told. Even middle-class Ethiopians are finding it more difficult to feed their families.

Ethiopia’s annual inflation rate jumped to nearly 40 percent in July. The Central Statistics Agency says food prices, which comprise more than half the Consumer Price Index, were up 47.4 percent from a year ago.

04 Aug 2011 description
report Voice of America

Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa

The head of the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) in Ethiopia says the country's emergency food stocks are almost completely exhausted, with drought conditions expected to worsen before they improve. There are also growing concerns about food shortages in Ethiopia's reclusive neighbor, Eritrea.

27 Jul 2011 description
report Voice of America

Nico Colombant | Washington

As famine threatens areas of Somalia and other parts of the Horn of Africa, food security experts are looking for lessons from severe droughts of the past, when worst case scenarios were avoided. Their examples range from recent years to pre-colonial times.

Food security experts say Africa's famines have become more frequent as the world economy has grown more connected.

13 Jul 2011 description
report Voice of America

Mariama Diallo | Washington

The Horn of Africa is facing its worst drought in decades and aid agencies are appealing to the international community for immediate help to save hundreds of thousands of people at risk of starvation. Relief experts also say long-term solutions are needed to address underlying problems with African agriculture.

08 Jun 2011 description
report Voice of America

Report identifies 'hotspots' of future food insecurity

Steve Baragona | Washington, D.C.

Higher temperatures and changing rainfall patterns resulting from global climate change will threaten food production in many parts of the world - especially regions in the tropics already struggling with food security, according to a new report.

How climate change affects you depends on more than just how it affects your local weather. It also depends on how much the weather matters to your livelihood, and how well you can cope with the changes.

03 Jun 2011 description
report Voice of America

Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa

Kenya and Ethiopia have agreed on measures to ease tensions along their border following deadly clashes between ethnic groups battling for scarce resources. The Horn of Africa neighbors will revive a long dormant ministerial commission to take on a host of prickly bilateral issues.

Delegations of senior Ethiopian and Kenyan officials sat down together Thursday at an Addis Ababa hotel to revive a Joint Border Commission that last met in 2004.

26 May 2011 description
report Voice of America

Rebels in Ethiopia's Ogaden region say they have found two World Food Program (WFP) workers missing since an attack May 13.

The rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) said in a statement Thursday that it found the two WFP workers after capturing the eastern town of Galalshe from government forces.

The rebels say the WFP workers had been abducted by the Ethiopian army, and were among hundreds of prisoners in a local jail who had been tortured.

The ONLF says it will contact the WFP to discuss handing over the workers.

19 May 2011 description
report Voice of America

The UN World Food Program (WFP) is hoping to restart operations within days in Ethiopia’s parched Ogaden region, where nearly one-third of the population is in need of assistance. Aid distribution in the Ogaden was halted after a fatal attack last Friday on a team of WFP workers.

WFP spokesman in Ethiopia Judith Schuler says there should be little or no disruption in food deliveries in the drought-ravaged Somali region, known as the Ogaden.

10 May 2011 description
report Voice of America

Unusually poor rains in the Horn of Africa, compounded by a shortage of reserve food supplies, have forced Ethiopia to reduce the size of emergency rations to needy citizens. The sudden shortage of emergency supplies comes as over-the-counter food prices are soaring.

Ethiopia’s emergency relief agency and international aid groups were caught off guard by how quickly conditions deteriorated as rains failed over the past six months.

29 Apr 2011 description
report Voice of America

Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa

Ethiopia has denied the International Committee of the Red Cross permission to resume humanitarian operations in the restive Ogaden region. ICRC workers were expelled from the Ogaden nearly four years ago for allegedly aiding members of a separatist group, a charge they strongly deny.

16 Apr 2011 description
report Voice of America

Ethiopia has been dealt a double setback with word that inflation is rising rapidly at a time when drought is threatening crops and adding to the numbers of people needing food aid.

Ethiopia’s Central Statistical Agency Friday announced the consumer price index was 25 percent higher in March than a year ago. That follows a 16.5 percent increase in February.