El Niño: Warnings increase as drought and floods hit 15 million in Ethiopia

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El Niño: Warnings increase as drought and floods hit 15 million in Ethiopia

Unread post by selam sew » 09 Dec 2015 13:34

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El Niño is making life very difficult for people in Ethiopia. The U.N. warned in late November that as many as 100,000 people could be displaced by flooding in the northern part of the country. Meanwhile, drought to the south will leave more than 10 million people in need of food aid, Save the Children has warned. In total, more than 15 million people in Ethiopia may need some sort of assistance in 2016.

“The worst drought in Ethiopia for 50 years is happening right now … world leaders … must take the opportunity to wake up and act before it’s too late,” said John Graham, Save the Children’s Ethiopia country director, in a statement. “We know that if we take the right steps together we can prevent the suffering of millions, as well as alleviating the overwhelming and enduring poverty that these kinds of acute emergencies tend to leave in their wake.”

Estimates from just a few weeks ago projected that 8 million Ethiopians would need food assistance. The jump to 10 million is leading outlets and aid groups to elicit the memory of the 1984 famine in Ethiopia that killed hundreds of thousands of people. Warmer sea-surface temperatures caused by El Niño, and the associated global weather impacts, are set to peak right around now. The World Meteorological Organization says it is the biggest in 15 years and may be one of the strongest on record.

“Right now we say we think it’s really going to be one of the three strongest ones, it may be one of the two, that we don’t know yet. But definitely it’s already a very strong one,” Michel Jarraud, World Meteorological Organization secretary-general, said to the media in mid-November. “However, this event is playing out in uncharted territory. Our planet has altered dramatically because of climate change, the general trend towards a warmer global ocean, the loss of Arctic sea ice and of over a million square kilometers of summer snow cover in the northern hemisphere.”

There has been low rainfall in Ethiopia and it is expected to remain sparse in the south of the country. But a lot has changed in the 30 years since a massive drought led to the famine. Ethiopia is in a much better position to handle drought, as is the rest of the world to respond more quickly. Though in 2011, tens of thousands of people died in nearby Somalia after a severe drought brought famine.>>El Niño: Warnings increase as drought and floods hit 15 million in Ethiopia

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