Germany to provide aid to drought victims in south-eastern Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa (dpa) - Germany is to provide funds for the local purchase of 1,400 metric tons of food, 100 metric tons of edible oil and 50 metric tons of seed grain for drought victims in Borena, south-eastern Ethiopia, the German embassy in Addis Ababa announced Wedsnesday.

German Ambassador Herbert Honsowitz had visited the area near the border with Kenya last week and seen the extent of the seriousness of the situation, an embassy press statement said.

Honsowitz toured the Borena area of the Oromiya regional state, which received litte or no rain over the last two and a half years, in response to an appeal earlier this year by the Ethiopian authorities for over 7.5 million people in need of food aid this year on account of the drought in parts of the country.

The German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), which runs the Borena lowland pastoral development programme, is to handle the organisation of the local purchasing of the assistance for the needy in the area.

The German ambassador said after visiting Borena that the area was "in dire need of assistance to surmount the problems of the people," according to the embassy press release.

Close to eight million people are in need of food aid in Ethiopia this year, of whom some 350,000 are internally displaced persons on the account of the ongoing border war with neighbouring Eritrea.

With the delay of food aid promised by donors late last year and again early this year, the Ethiopian government earlier this month allocated funds for the purchase and distribution of 100,000 metric tons of food grain to be purchased locally in parts of the country where there was surplus production during the 1998-99 harvest season. dpa gh ct wo
Deutche Presse-Agentur; 23 February 2000; 04:33EST (09:33GMT)
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