UK commits £38m to help feed Ethiopia

The UK is to send £38m in food aid to Ethiopia as eastern Africa struggles with severe drought.

The money will be used to feed around 1.3 million Ethiopians for three months. Around 3.2 million in total are in need of food aid.

The donation was confirmed by International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell, who warned that Ethiopia faced disaster unless more aid was pledged by other countries.

“Through no fault of its own, the Horn of Africa is experiencing a severe drought caused by the failed rains,” he said.

“Britain is acting quickly and decisively in Ethiopia to stop this crisis becoming a catastrophe. We will provide vital food to help 1.3 million people through the next three months.

“This situation needs an international response and Britain is calling on the international community to provide fast, effective relief.”

The UN has called for international aid to assist the entire Horn of Africa, where some parts are experiencing their driest conditions in 60 years.

Around 10 million people across the region are at risk of starvation.

Christian Aid launched an emergency appeal at the end of last week to bring water to affected villages and provide food to malnourished families.

“The crisis has been building for some time, especially in Kenya and Ethiopia, and is fast escalating across the region,” said Nick Guttmann, Christian Aid’s humanitarian director.

“People are desperate and if we don’t act now we could be looking at one of the worst humanitarian situations the world has seen in a long time.”