You are on page 1of 2

NanTimes

NEWSLETTER
February22,2004

FamineCrisisinEthiopia
ByNanInmongYang

WhatishappeninginEthiopia?
LessthanfiveyearshavepassedsincetheEritreanandEthiopianwarhasended,and
Ethiopiaisstillstrugglingtofeeditspeople.Millionsacrossthecountryaresubsistence
farmers,meaningthattheyliveoffoftheirharvests,andwilltravelonly12milesoutsidetheir
farmstoselltheircrops.Withlittleknowledgeofacommoditymarket,thesefarmersmaybe
sellingtheircropsforlessthanitsrealvalue(Baldauf).ThismeansthatEthiopiadoesnot

haveadequateeconomicpoliciesthatwillensureafarmerisactuallymakingaprofit
(Harsch).

Anotherchallengethat
contributestolowharvests
andthepriceoffoodis
weatherconditions.Certain
areasintheHornofAfricahave
notexperiencedrainforyears,
playingapivotalroleinthe
faminecrisis(Shah).Without
sufficientrainfall,Ethiopias
farmersarestrugglingtogrow
theircropstosell,andmost
importantly,tofeed
themselvesandtheirfamilies.

OntopofEthiopiasfoodshortageanddrought,EthiopiansalsofaceanHIV/AIDSepidemic
andashortageofhealthcareworkers(Kinfu).AccordingtotheUnitedNations,thehealth
conditionsthatpeopleareleftinputsthemathigherriskofstarvingandmayleavethem
unabletoattendtotheirfarming(Harsch).Thisshowshowashortageinhealthcareworkers,
whohelpeducateandtreatpeople,affectfarmersacrossEthiopia.UNSecretary-GeneralKofi
AnnanstatedThisisnocoincidence:AIDSandfaminearedirectlylinked.(Harsch)

Ina2004surveyfromtheWorldHealthOrganizationAfrica,theburdenofdiseasefor
communicablediseases,maternalandperinatalconditions,andnutritionaldeficiencies,
resultedin74percent(WHO).WithfewhealthcareworkersinEthiopia,Ethiopianswillnotbe
awareofwhatpreventativemeasuresshouldbetakentocombatthisdisease.
Howcanthisberesolved?
Ethiopiacurrentlyfunctionsunderafreemarket.Ifacommoditiesexchangesystemwere
introduced,thatwouldensurethatmoneyisnotonlyflowingoutofthecountry,butin,too
(Baldauf).Farmerswillthenbemoreawareofthevalueoftheirproducts,thusenhancingthe
wholeofEthiopiaseconomy.

Althoughthereisashortageofhealthcareworkers,thereisprogressbeingmadetoproperly
trainandhireworkerstocareforanailingcountry.ThereneedstobechangesinEthiopias
marketsystemorneweconomicpoliciesimplemented,aswellasmoreawarenesstothe
AIDSepidemic.Bymakingcompleteandthoroughassessmentsofthefaminecrisisin
Ethiopia,thereisstillhopeofrecovery.