U.S. Pledges $97M to Combat Ethiopia’s ‘El Niño’ Drought

In this photo taken on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, A young Afar boy walks through failed crops and farmland in Magenta area of Afar, Ethiopia. Morbid thoughts linger on people’s minds in the area. The crops have failed and farm animals have been dying amid severe drought that has left …
AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — The head of the U.S. Agency for International Development has announced $97 million dollars in emergency assistance to Ethiopia to combat the devastating effects of a drought brought on by the El Niño climate phenomenon.

The seasonal warming over the Pacific Ocean has caused a serious drought across eastern and southern Africa and particularly hard hit is Ethiopia – Africa’s second most populous country with 94 million people.

USAID administrator Gayle Smith, in a briefing Sunday at the Africa Union’s annual summit, said more funds are needed to provide adequate assistance.

The announcement comes as the U.N. has issued an appeal for $1.4 billion in humanitarian aid to get emergency food rations to some 11 million people affected by the drought.

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