Discussion Forum

 Does Ethiopia need international aid to cope with drought?

Ethiopia is the world's fastest growing economy. So when drought struck why did it need international help?

Ethiopia has been doing very well over the last 15 years or so.

Millions of people have been lifted out of poverty as the economy, jointly with Turkmenistan, has been growing faster than anywhere else in the world.

The double-digit growth is obvious from the building sites and the tower blocks rising up on every corner in the capital Addis Ababa.

A worker stands on a building site in Axum, Ethiopia. 4 June 4, 2008Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionBuilding sites all over Ethiopia are just one illustration of the speed of the country's growth

The country has changed a great deal since 1984, when hundreds of thousands of people died of hunger.

Those terrible images of famine from more than 30 years ago still haunt Ethiopia.

It was a time when war and political neglect turned drought into disaster, and for a government today with grand ambitions it's still a raw wound.

Now it's a place with a confidence, only dented when the climate changes.

El Nino dried up the rainfall.

Drought once again turned the land to dust.

It's facing as bad a drought as 1984 over a much wider area.

 

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