INTRODUCTION: Prolonged drought, frontier wars and natural disasters have brought the threat of famine to millions of people across Africa.
GV PAN Starving Ethiopians in desert with relief plane
CU & SCU & SV Badly starved children ( 7 shots)
SV PAN Refugees line up and form queues to receive food (3 shots)
SOMALIA: GV PAN Men and women form column down deep well to get at brackish water (3 shots)
GV & SV Women and children sheltering in and around dilapidated and makeshift tents (3 shots)
GV Starving queues line up for food
SCU & SV being weighed out and distributed (3 shots)
SV PAN Mothers feeding children (2 shots)
SCU & SV Child sitting. Two children walking assisted by mothers
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Prolonged drought, frontier wars and natural disasters have brought the threat of famine to millions of people across Africa. Nearly 22 million people are said to be at risk. Well over half are women and children, many of them refugees. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has appealed for massive funds to help tackle the problem. Two countries which are particularly badly hit are Ethiopia and Somalia. The wars in Eritrea and the Ogaden have brought their toll and thousands A quarter of Somalia's population are refugees.
SYNOPSIS: In Ethiopia, the loss of livestock has reached alarming proportions. Wars and years of drought have taken their toll. Food shortages continue and an estimated 5.2 million people are affected. Some two million have been displaced as a result of drought and the war in the Ogaden and Eritrea. In recent years Unicef's assistance has gone towards improving basic services for children. The Ethiopian authorities say they are caring for up to five million drought victims in Ogaden and other stricken areas. More than 775,000 people are at present housed in settlements in the southern part of the country.
Experts say good crops could be grown with proper irrigation. Unicef has been devoting particular attention to water supply. A special three million dollar relief project was begun last year. Emphasis will be on supplies, health care and training.
Water is also a problem in Somalia. The country is still in a state of emergency. It has about 1.5 million Ethiopian refugees including more than 700,000 in some 27 camps. About 700 refugees arrive each day. Additional funds are being sought for food, shelter, water, sanitation, health, education and other needs. The United Nations and other agencies budgeted more than 41 million pounds ($100 million) in aid for the refugees last year. Ninety percent of the refugees are children and women. Drought and the continuing fighting in Ethiopia have aggravated the situation. Many of the children suffer from malnutrition, tuberculosis, dysentery and other diseases. They were receiving only minimal health care. Somalia has the world's worst refugee problem. More than a quarter of its 4.5 million population are refugees. Relief workers have described its as the greatest refugee problem since the first World War.
Children are particularly affected in the camps. They arrive sick and undernourished. The very young have trouble in adapting to an unfamiliar diet. While the crowed conditions and poor hygiene make it easy for infections diseases to spread.
Although the drought has now ended and aid is flowing, people are still dying of hunger. Relief workers say it will take years for the region to recover, and that aid is still needed to develop basic services, and to provide care for the thousands of refugees.