In December 2002, the Ethiopian government requested 1.4 million tons of food aid to avoid the possibility of another mass starvation throughout the country.
In January, Jesuit Relief Services (JRS) reported that Ethiopia is still waiting for that food, and over 11 million people are at risk of starvation. “Supplies have to arrive and not just be pledged,” says Stephen Power, country director for JRS.
In some regions, people are already on waiting lists to receive food. Some have wandered miles from their homes in search of something to eat and many fear that displacement could prolong the shortage. “If we get mass population movements,” said Power, “This means people will be displaced for the next planting. Result: no crops, no harvest and a huge tragedy. We have to act now and act effectively.”