Famine In Ethiopia

Essay by NomadCollege, UndergraduateA+, October 1996

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Not all human-beings are as fortunate as others. People all over Africa are suffering from famine and dying from it. One country in particular stands above all the rest looking back in history. Ethiopia, formerly known as Abyssinia in 3000 BC, when it became the first African nation, has hit its bottom and cannot get any worse. Famine, hunger, fear, and hopelessness are all emotions running through the average Ethiopian. The latest string of famine to strike was not to long ago.

From 1983 to 1986, nearly 1.5 million Ethiopians died of starvation. That was the culmination of nearly two decades of famine that claimed more than seven million lives. Ethiopia was not the only African country to suffer from famine during these two decades. From around 1970 to 1987, all of northeastern Africa had gone through periods of drought. In the neighboring countries of Ethiopia, many other millions of lives were claimed, including the countries of Sudan, Chad, Yemen, and Somalia.

Fortunately during this period of time, in these countries, farmers were able to produce enough crops to relieve some of the hunger and starvation. Everything in their power was done to help save the lives of others, and they even stored grain in case of future droughts.

In Ethiopia, many other factors prevented the people from preparing for the unavoidable droughts. Many factors worked together with the drought conditions to make the situation even worse. As a result, Ethiopia did not just experience periods of famine between 1970 and 1987 like its neighbors, but instead it suffered from two decades of continuous famine. Land abuse, overpopulation, political conflicts, and dry weather didn't help things out either.

Africa was always a target for hot weather and dry lands. Many strings of famines and droughts struck throughout time. Ethiopia does...