New York - About 1,75 million Ethiopians will need emergency food aid in the first half of 2006 due to poor rains in parts of the country, adding to the 5,5 million Ethiopians already getting food shipments, the United Nations said on Monday.
Last year's rainy season got off to a late start and was not heavy enough to support good crop growth in Ethiopia's southern Somali region and south-central Oromiya region, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.
The spreading humanitarian crisis in the country of about 70 million people stems from a prolonged drought that has left more than 11 million people at risk across eastern Africa this year, the UN office said.
Djibouti, Somalia and Kenya are among those suffering as well, it said.
There is enough food in Ethiopia to meet immediate needs, but security or logistic woes could threaten future supplies, according to the World Food Program, the United Nations' food distribution arm.