Ethiopian officials have estimated that one million victims of the latest drought in northern Ethiopian are in need of urgent famine relief.
SV Refugees arriving at food distribution centre
SV Men walking down hills, towards centre
GV Refugees arriving at centre (2 shots)
GV PAN Food distribution centre with people assembled
SV PAN Families waiting to receive grain, seated on ground (2 shots)
SV Sacks of grain being carried from store and stacked
CU Sack of grain label "Food Aid of the European Economic Community to the people of Ethiopia"
SV Men collecting sacks of grain and carrying to refugee groups (2 shots)
Gv Families seated on ground, waiting for grain distribution (5 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Ethiopian officials have estimated that one million victims of the latest drought in northern Ethiopian are in need of urgent famine relief. The drought, described as the worst since 1973, has gripped large areas of Tigray, Wollo, Eritrea and Gondar. This is Lalibela, perched high in the mountains of northern Wollo. Refugees have been arriving daily, and in increasing numbers, as the drought-caused famine drives them from their farms and villages. They are issued a month's supply of wheat from emergency grain stores, held under the government's disaster plan implemented to alert the loss of life suffered during previous droughts. This safety net has been hampered by lack of transport and the slow response by the international community to Ethiopia's warnings of an impending famine. Britain has responded twice to the crisis. In February, 147-thousand 845 dollars was channelled through the Save the Children Fund, for an infant feeding centre in Wollo province. On March 21, a further donation of 467-thousand, 500 dollars was made, for distribution through the United Nations Disaster Relief Organisation, the British Red Cross and the Save the Children Fund. Help from other members of the European Economic Community (EEC) has come in the form of food aid. Some of the people at Lalibela had walked for several days to reach the food distribution centre; many were reported to have died on the way. They are now reluctant to return to their former homes because they say there is no food there.