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Sunday, February 26, 2017
Ethiopia faces hunger 20 years after Live Aid
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¬†CAFOD says seven million Ethiopians will mark the 20th anniversary of Live Aid dependent on international food aid for their survival. In a new report out today: 'The Long Wait. Ethiopia and the Millennium Development Goals' CAFOD blames a lack of development aid, too much debt, and unfair trade for Ethiopia's continuing poverty. Ethiopia receives only £7 per person annually in development aid, which is half the African average. It still pays £58 million in annual debt repayments to rich donors, which is more than it spends on healthcare. And Ethiopia has seen its earnings from its biggest export crop of coffee halve due to a slump in world prices, while its efforts to diversify its economy have been thwarted by unfair trade rules. Meanwhile, nearly half of the population go hungry, life expectancy is expected to drop from 44 years to 28 years in the next five years due to HIV/AIDS, and only 50% have access to national health coverage. Ethiopia, like much of Africa, is expected to miss the 2015 target for achieving its Millennium Development Goals, the set of poverty reduction targets agreed by UN members in 2000 that include halving the number of people living in poverty and hunger. Government officials estimate that Ethiopia needs £64 billion over the next decade if it is to wipe out poverty and hunger. But those extra resources are not there. The author of the report, CAFOD's Campaign Press Officer Patrick Nicholson said: "Ethiopia needs justice not charity. 20 years and millions of dollars in emergency aid may have saved countless lives, but have done little to address the root causes of poverty. Emergency food aid, often in the form of subsidised grain, has kept millions of Ethiopians on a drip feed without providing them with the means to work themselves out of poverty. "Recognition must be given to the government of Ethiopia for the progress that has been made since the famine of 1984. The government has clear plans to move away from dependency on food aid. On education, the government has increased enrolment in schools from 25 percent to 70 percent in five years. But with income of £53 per head a year, the country does not have the resources to effectively tackle poverty. "CAFOD is part of the Make Poverty History campaign, which believes 2005 is a crucial year to tackle poverty. The UK holds the presidency of the G8 group of the world's wealthiest nations. We are urging supporters to travel to Edinburgh in July to take part in a demonstration in the run up to the G8 Summit. Campaigners will be asked to wear a white band, the symbol of Make Poverty History." Patrick Nicholson said: "Ethiopia is just one example of a situation repeated all over Africa, where the Millennium Development Goals are slipping away. To combat this, G8 countries must push for an increase in development aid, the cancellation of unpayable debt, and introduce changes to trade rules to enable Ethiopia to trade its way out of poverty. Hunger still stalks Ethiopia twenty years after Live Aid. It has been two decades of missed opportunity by rich countries. 2005 offers our generation a chance to change that. We must do whatever it takes to make poverty history." CAFOD's Lent Fast takes place today. There will be special collections in parishes this weekend.
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