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UN Humanitarian Chief To Visit Droughted Ethiopia

UN Humanitarian Chief To Visit Drought-Ravaged Ethiopia

The United Nations relief chief will travel to Ethiopia next week to assess the situation in the Horn of Africa country first-hand, where millions of people need humanitarian aid because of a devastating drought and the soaring prices of many basic foods.

John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, is slated to arrive in Ethiopia next Monday and hold talks with Government officials, relief groups and individuals affected by the drought and food crisis.

Mr. Holmes – who is also the Coordinator of the High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis – will visit the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR) and the Somali region, among the areas hit hardest by the current crisis.

UN agencies, which have appealed for urgent funds to widen their operations, have estimated that at least 4.6 million Ethiopians are in need of aid, mainly because of a drought that has afflicted the entire Horn of Africa region. About 75,000 children are classed as severely malnourished.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported yesterday that children suffering from severe malnutrition continue to be admitted for medical treatment in SNNPR and in Oromiya region, while new cases of acute watery diarrhoea are also being diagnosed in Oromiya.

ENDS

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