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.
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.
One man I met told me this is the worst drought he has seen in 45 years.
I met Ahmed Dubet Roble at a gathering of around 1,400 families in Fedeto. He had travelled from the barren countryside to ask for help.
He has lost everything.
Also there was Khadija Aden Abtidon, sitting by her little tent of sticks and cloth.
“We lost all our livestock,” she said, “so we are here to seek support.
“There’s no pasture, no water. We have never seen anything like this before.”