ETHIOPIA’s premature announcement of food self-sufficiency through its ceremonial Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn at a rally in the capital Addis Ababa surprised everyone including its chief protectorate and benefactor the U.S.A.
It is understood that the regime in Ethiopia tirelessly vociferates to project itself as a band of revolutionary democracy on a mission to transform Ethiopia into a utopia. However, the facts on the ground speak the opposite.
“We are proud to have erased the humiliating image which identified us with hunger and famine,” the premier adds triumphantly.
The timing of the announcement, however, doesn’t bode well for the regime since the UN cried soon after for international assistance to feed 6.5 million hungry Ethiopians.
The US food assistance fact sheet for Ethiopia that was also updated soon after the announcement states the country’s bleak food security situation that is far from self-sufficiency.
This is what the USAID has to say about Ethiopia’s Food Security situation:
Ethiopia remains one of the poorest countries in the world. It experiences high levels of both chronic and acute food insecurity, particularly among rural populations and smallholder farmers.
Approximately 44 percent of children under 5 years of age in Ethiopia are severely chronically malnourished, or stunted. This lack of nutrients results in irreversible cognitive and physical impairments. The long-term effects of chronic malnutrition are estimated to cost the Government of Ethiopia approximately 16.5 percent of its GDP every year according to the UN World Food Program (WFP).
Climatic shocks are common in Ethiopia and often lead to poor or failed harvests which result in high levels of acute food insecurity. As of January 2014, the Government of Ethiopia reported that up to 2.7 million people in Ethiopia are acutely food insecure and require food or cash transfers in order to meet their basic food needs.
The conflict in South Sudan is exacerbating the food insecurity situation in Ethiopia. Since the outbreak of violence in mid-December, more than 145,000 South Sudanese refugees have entered the country, bringing the total number of refugees in Ethiopia to more than half a million.
In the regime’s echo chamber of “self-sufficiency’ and “developmental state”, everything is hunky-dory but the facts speaks otherwise. The fact of the matter is, the U.S. alone pledged to assist the country with 161,920 metric tonnes of food for this year. That’s too much for a regime that declares food self-sufficiency out of the bloom.
USAID Food Contributions to Ethiopia
|U.S. Dollars||Metric Tons|
|Fiscal Year 2014||$123.1 million||161,920 MT|
|Fiscal Year 2013||$235.7 million||274,770 MT|
|Fiscal Year 2012||$306.6 million||365,400 MT|
|Fiscal Year 2011||$313.3 million||371,599 MT|
|Fiscal Year 2010||$451.7million||704,200 MT|
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