People are dying of hunger in drought-struck
Ethiopia as the country faces its worst ever humanitarian crisis. Fifteen
million Ethiopians could face starvation in just a few months. The looming
famine could be worse than the terrible disaster of 1984-85, when a drought
wiped out the country's grain supply and hunger and famine-related diseases
killed nearly one million people.
Key factors aggravating this crisis are the lack of development, compounded by climatic changes, civil conflicts, the increase of HIV/AIDS and government mismanagement.
The impact of HIV/AIDS is eroding further limited human capacities and is further compounding the crisis. The HIV/AIDS pandemic is threatening an entire generation of working-age adults and leaving in its wake thousands of orphans.
Ethiopia, with just one percent of the world's population, contributes nine percent of worldwide cases of HIV/AIDS. By the end of 1997, UNAIDS estimated that in urban areas, one person in six was infected with HIV.
By the end of 1999, 1.1 million persons had died from complications of HIV/AIDS which is up from 350,000 in 1998.
More than 990,000 children have been orphaned by the disease.
The Ethiopian Ministry of Health predicts that the number of people living with HIV/AIDS will increase to 3.2 million by 2006.
Average Life expectancy in Ethiopia is 44. Only 24 percent of the population has access to treated water. More than one-tenth of all babies117 of every 1,000 live births die before reaching the age of five.
The crisis in Ethiopia is not just a food crisis, so it cannot be solved with food aid alone. Needs in other sectors of the economy, such as X, Y, and Z, although not of the same magnitude as the visceral need of Ethiopians for food, are nonetheless important.
While United Way International does not have an affiliated member in Ethiopia, it is able to locate and screen qualified agencies there through other contacts.
Donors wishing to help people live-through this devastating crisis, have a number of options for giving:
Checks may be made out to "United Way International - Ethiopia Famine".
Confidential and secure credit card donations can be made online at Pledge Now .
Please contact Kyong Sue Aagesen at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. You will also find updates and more information posted on our web site at www.uwint.org