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Tackling drought with emergency aid is not the answer

SAN FRANCISCO, 7 February 2017

For those forced to live through them, droughts are less an unusual event than a way of life that constantly tests your resilience and resourcefulness.

To be a farmer, or make a living from livestock in Ethiopia, where my organisation, Mercy Corps, has been working for many years, you need to be innovative in the face of ever-changing weather patterns.

And yet the 2015 El Niño drought cycle – the worst in 50 years by some measures – tested even this population. One seasoned pastoralist reported recently to our staff that he’d “never seen anything like this drought”.

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