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    Animal charity calls for urgent help from UK Government and public as Ethiopia suffers worst drought in over a generation

    NewsOther petsMonday 15 February 2016
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    Animal charity calls for urgent help from UK Government and public as Ethiopia suffers worst drought in over a generation

    • 10.2 million people in Ethiopia are in need of emergency food assistance. At present, the food stocks will be exhausted by the end of April 2016.
    • Many of the most vulnerable people in Ethiopia depend on livestock for both economic and food security.
    • However more than half a million livestock deaths were reported in the Afar region- one of the worst affected - by 13th November 2015. The region has lost 105,621 cattle, 441,394 sheep and goats, 14,854 camels and 4,503 donkeys.
    • Charity SPANA is condemning the drought response from the international community as scandalous and believes mass livestock death could lead to widespread human malnutrition within weeks
    • The charity is calling for urgent aid from the UK government and support from the public to prevent a massive humanitarian crisis

     

    Ethiopia is suffering its worst drought in a generation.  Millions of people have been affected. However, the livelihoods and lives of millions more could be threatened unless urgent action is taken to protect livestock, a UK-based charity warned today.

    SPANA (The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad), which is undertaking an emergency feeding programme in the Afar region, has expressed its concern that the failure of current efforts by the international community to tackle livestock deaths could lead to widespread human malnutrition within weeks.

    Many of the most vulnerable people in Ethiopia depend on livestock for both economic and food security. Yet the charity suggests that the lack of attention given to protecting existing herds could lead to a complete collapse in livestock numbers, pre-empting a devastating humanitarian crisis across the country.

    The Ethiopian government estimates that more than 10 million people urgently need food aid following the failure of harvests due to severe drought. Four consecutive seasons of erratic or failed rainfall has led to the drought, which has been exacerbated by the El Niño weather phenomenon. Aid agencies expect the situation to worsen in the months ahead.

    SPANA are one of the few organisations supporting feeding programmes for livestock, a small investment compared to the cost of emergency relief for starving people.

    Jeremy Hulme, Chief Executive of SPANA, who last week returned from Afar has seen the increasingly desperate situation first hand. He reports that the scale of the problem is overwhelming and is calling for urgent action from the public to learn from the mistakes of the past and prevent this emergency spiraling into a disaster.

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