Aid workers say famine in Ethiopia’s Somali and Afar regions taking its toll

famin Somali regionESAT News (March 25, 2016)

Humanitarian workers who travelled to regions worst affected by famine in Ethiopia say they have seen emaciated children fighting for their lives while dying livestock were seen everywhere.

An aid worker by the name Mesfin, who secretly photographed a scrawny four year old child and sent to ESAT, said they have travelled to Afar and Somali regions where the famine was already taking its toll on humans and livestock. He said they have seen children whose skins were fused with their bones at feeding centers in the regions. Mesfin said he has never seen a disaster on such scale and he confessed he broke to tears having seen the dying children.

Mesfin told ESAT that the situation in places near Jijiga and Shinile in Somali region was very serious. At a health center in Afdem, they have seen hunger stricken bony children. “The sight of starving children fighting for their lives makes you hate yourself,” Mesfin shared with ESAT.

The government is hiding the famine from the world worried it would damage its image, according to Mesfin who said he had manage to secretly photograph the four year old at a health center in Somali region. He said the government had become a hurdle to humanitarian organizations that could otherwise have provided help to many.

Advisor to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Arkebe Oqubay, last week told Bloomberg Business that his government was able to transform agriculture and feed its people. “The country has achieved food security,” he told Bloomberg Business in Hong Kong.

Puzzling to many, the Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, on the next day made a call to the world to help stave off the looming famine in his country. He called on the international community to help save the 10 million people who need immediate attention. “It is the responsibility of the international community to intervene before things get out of hand,” he said in a statement that amounts to making the aid community responsible for the calamity that is threating to destroy lives mainly due to his government’s inaction.