Whilst we're waiting for the sausages

  Forum Editor 18:16 16 Jun 2009
Locked

to come off the barbecue, or to be told the price of strawberries at Wimbledon this year,it might be an idea to contemplate this:-

The UN has warned that it has run out of food to provide for nine million Ethiopians who rely on its assistance.

click here

Unless some people get themselves seriously organised, and quickly, there could be a disaster on a monumental scale.

  Autoschediastic 18:34 16 Jun 2009

Yeah i read this a few hours ago.? how & why did they let it become so close to having NOTHING! before the cry for help.? This is terrible!!

This really is peoples lives!

  Forum Editor 18:53 16 Jun 2009

have been warning about this for some time. As is often the case, the situation has worsened quite rapidly. Ethiopia has no coastline, all food cargoes have to come through Djibouti by lorry.

The Djibouti port is crammed with supplies, but the Ethiopian government wants fertilisers to be given priority, ready for the next harvest. The simple answer would be to run more lorries, and the UN has lots of them across the border in Sudan, but for reasons best known to itself the government refuses to allow them into the country.

So there you have it, nine million people will get no more UN food after the end of this month, and the next harvest isn't until September/October. The government will have plenty of fertiliser, but for lots of people - mainly the young and the old - it will not be much good, they'll be dead.

  Autoschediastic 18:55 16 Jun 2009

Peter it is hearbreaking isnt it! we are VERY fortunate to be born in this civilisation rather then over there! as we all sit at our pc's worrying about loosing our homes/jobs/cars its hard to belive nearly all of them would never have this chance!
I am lost for words really!
But thankx for explaining what is what over there!!

  WhiteTruckMan 19:08 16 Jun 2009

Seen that

  Colin 19:12 16 Jun 2009

I don't take anything for granted and I appreciate that I have a very privileged lifestyle. I don't have to worry about food or shelter but many do and I'm grateful for being in my position. To read about the situation in Ethiopia reinforces my view. I hope it gets sorted.

  WhiteTruckMan 19:15 16 Jun 2009

before I pressed the wrong button

This is what happens when you run a large nation (and yes, its a big place) with a government ridden with a tribal mentality. You just wont get it unless you see it in action yourself. Because its easy to write it off as corruption. But its an official indifference to people not of their ilk that is the problem.

The only thing you can be sure of is that there is plenty of money for guns and ammunition, and luxury cars for those at the top.

WTM

  wiz-king 19:39 16 Jun 2009

I agree with you. Another fine example is Zimbabwe - from the breadbasket of Africa to starving in only a few years.

  Forum Editor 23:16 16 Jun 2009

the continual food aid shipments to Ethiopia don't provide a solution, they probably prolong the problem. There's a dependency culture, particularly in the south, and the government does little or nothing to help the people to help themselves. Ethiopia isn't an arid wasteland, it's capable of producing large amounts of food. Some 70% of the Ethiopian land mass could be cultivated, but the amount actually being farmed is probably only about 10%.

The agricultural problem is complex and rooted in the past, but things really got bad there about a decade ago, following the border war with Eritrea. The cost of the conflict in purely financial terms was catastrophic as far as Ethiopia was concerned, and left the country's economy in a dire state.

None of which means much to the hundreds of thousands of children who will probably die of starvation before the next harvest.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 10:26 17 Jun 2009

Having been to Ethiopia and Eritrea on a few occasions I can confirm that Ethiopia is a basket case and Eritrea was slightly better. The fact that both have been battling each other for the best part of 30 years has not helped.
In the year that saint Bob held the first Live Aid, the Ethiopian people were starving and the Governments bought hundreds of millions of dollars worth of tanks, guns and planes from Russia. Being stupid that they were/are, they neglected to buy any spares. The tanks could only run for a few hours before a good service and 'seeing to' was required. The planes could only fly for limited hours before maintenance was necessary and it did not help that most were second hand and well knackered before they got to Ethiopia.
The country should be a massive mineral reserve as it is at the end of the Rift Valley and the Central/South (esp. along the Omo) and mid North regions are very fertile (surprisingly).
However the whole country is completely fragmented and there is a prevailing attitude that nothing is saved for hard times so when shortages occur, which is an annual event, the granaries/coffers are empty.
There is also a culture that the people will always tell you what you want to hear which is usually miles from the truth. This makes any transactions or attempts at help exceedingly difficult to apply. Getting the people to work is next to impossible as a general ennui seems to pervade the whole country.
In S.America everyone is trying to make some money by selling fags, trinkets, chiclets or water. This street selling is rare in Ethiopia with most of the population's backsides firmly glued to seats in spite of me picking up large pieces of Jet from a vast quantity lying on a volcanic plain near Eritrea. This makes excellent and expensive jewellery.
There is no cohesion in the country resulting in a fragmented society. Tribally, this has always been so and Ethiopia was the biggest festering dump with the most difficult to get on with people that I have ever had the misfortune to visit.

G

  jack 10:38 17 Jun 2009

and the UN fail to grasp is this whole region- From Iran in the North to Cape Good Hope in the South and Eastwards encompassing the Indian sub continent is essentially tribal- from the Biblical tales through the present where ever Europeans have tried to influence things - the tribal culture prevails
one extended family group competing for scarce resources at the rest- and slitting a few throats on a Saturday night for fun is part of the game.- It is not going to change any time soon
The West /UN are simply bashing their collective heads against a very thick mud wall.

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