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Famine ራብ

Ethiopian Regime looks to the space “unveils a new telescope of space program” while 80% of Ethiopians do not eat full meal a day


This NASA image obtained on October 16, 2011 shows the Carina Nebula -- a star-forming region of the Milky Way

This NASA image obtained on October 16, 2011 shows the Carina Nebula — a star-forming region of the Milky Way

 Ethiopia unveiled Friday the first phase of a space exploration program, which includes East Africa’s largest observatory designed to promote astronomy research in the region. Once Jommo Kenyta in 1960’s said ” the Europeans showing as the heavens  took our lands”. The Ethiopian regime today letting the land of the people to be grabbed  claimed started exploring the heavens, when 80% of Ethiopians do not eat a full meal in a day.

The so called “The optical astronomical telescope is mainly intended for astronomy and astrophysics observation research,” said observatory director Solomon Belay.

The observatory, which will formally be opened on Saturday, boasts two telescopes, each one meter (over three feet) wide, to see “extra planets, different types of stars, the Milky Way, and deep galaxies,” Solomon added.

The 3.4 million dollar (2.5 million euro) observatory, run by the Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS), is funded by Ethiopian-Saudi business tycoon Mohammed Alamoudi enriched selling Ethiopian Gold and fertile land to the international speculators.

The observatory, 3,200 meters (10,500 feet) above sea level in the lush Entoto mountains on the outskirts of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, is an ideal location because of its minimal cloud cover, moderate winds and low humidity, experts said.

When established in 2004, ESSS was labelled as the “Crazy People’s Club”, according to the group, but has gained credibility in the past decade with astronomy courses introduced at universities and winning increased political support.

The Ethiopian government is set to launch a space policy in coming years.

Solomon said the group originally faced sceptics in Ethiopia and abroad, who questioned whether space exploration was a wise use of resources in one of Africa’s poorest economies, plagued in the past by chronic famine and unrest.

But Solomon said promoting science is key to the development in Ethiopia, today one of Africa’s fastest growing economies largely based on agriculture.

“If the economy is strongly linked with science, then we can transform a poor way of agriculture into industrialization and into modern agriculture,” he said.

The ESSS is now looking to open a second observatory 4,200 metres (13,800 feet) above sea level in the mountainous northern town of Lalibela, also the site of the largest cluster of Ethiopia’s ancient rock-hewn churches.

Photographs from the ESSS show scientists with testing equipment looking for the best site to put the next telescope on the green and remote peaks, as local villagers wrapped in traditional white blankets watch on curiously, sitting outside their thatch hut homes.

Solomon hopes to boost “astronomy tourism” among space fans interested in coming to one of the least likely countries in the world to boast a space programme, an added economic benefit.

The country will also launch its first satellite in the next three years, ESSS said, to study meteorology and boost telecommunications.

Ethiopia is not the first African nation to look to the skies; South Africa has its own National Space Agency, and in 2009 the African Union announced plans to establish The African Space Agency.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, has also called for a continent-wide space program .

Solomon said while the next several years will be about boosting research and data collection, along with promoting a strong local and regional interest in astronomy, he is not ruling out sending an Ethiopian into space one day.


More than two out of every five children in Ethiopia are stunted and more than 80 percent of all cases of child under-nutrition go untreated.

Ethiopia loses around 16.5 percent of its GDP each year to the long-term effects of child malnutrition. That’s just one of the statistics to emerge from “The Cost of Hunger in Africa” study which measures the economic impact of malnutrition in 12 different countries. Ethiopia is the third country so far to publish its findings.

ADDIS ABABA (Ethiopia)—Over the past decade, Ethiopia has taken important strides towards reducing its high levels of hunger and malnutrition. Nutrition interventions aimed at mothers and children together with programmes to boost agriculture have left millions of Ethiopian families healthier and better able to feed themselves.

Cost of Hunger in Africa

The Cost of Hunger in Africa analyzes the impact of hunger across 12 countries in Africa. It was carried out with the support of the African Union Commission, a body which includes the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and WFP.

However, the lasting effects of malnutrition still weigh heavily on the Ethiopian economy, as new research shows. The “Cost of Hunger in Africa” report estimates that undernutrition costs the country billions of dollars every year in lost worker productivity. Here are 10 of its key findings.

1. Today, more than 2 out of every 5 children in Ethiopia suffer from stunting, which means they’re short for their age. Stunting is a lifelong condition that results when children miss out on critical nutrients while in the womb or during the first five years of their lives.

2. As many as 81% of all cases of child undernutrition and its related pathologies go untreated.

3. 44% of the health costs associated with undernutrition occur before the child turns 1 year-old.

4. 28% of all child mortality in Ethiopia is associated with undernutrition.

5. 16% of all repetitions in primary school are associated with stunting

6. Stunted children achieve 1.1 years less in school education.

7. Child mortality associated with undernutrition has reduced Ethiopia’s workforce by 8%

8. 67% of the adult population in Ethiopia suffered from stunting as children.

9. The annual costs associated with child undernutrition are estimated at Ethiopian birr (ETB) 55.5 billion, which is equivalent to 16.5% of GDP.

10. Eliminating stunting in Ethiopia is a necessary step for its growth and transformation.


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Hunger – Ethiopia’s new but an old weapon to force tribes off their land – Survival

The last two regimes in Ethiopia have used famine as a weapon of war against their own people, but as means of survival on power. The communist regime displaced 100 thousands from Tigre & Wollo provinces to the other parts of Ethiopia in mid 1980’s. Today the irredentist regime of Melees Zenawie is using famine and hunger to push the Southern Omotic, Gambella and Benishengol tribal peoples from their homestead by damming their life giving water for the international land grabbers. Here is a recent article by Survival intentional confirming the same old new arm known from time immoral used to cleanse the original population from their ancestral land all over the world. The case of the Amerindians damped in reservations the Aborigines in Australia is a best historical example not forgetting the Romans. (Prof. Muse)

Suri boy from Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley. Violent land grabs are devastating the tribe.
© Survival

Survival has received disturbing reports from members of several tribes in Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley, which describe how the government is destroying their crops to force them to move off their land into designated resettlement areas.

Those most affected by the land grabs are Suri, Bodi and Mursi pastoralists, and the Kwegu hunter-gatherer people.

Many families are now desperate as they have no sorghum, and their cattle grazing land is also being rapidly destroyed as the government continues to lease out their land for sugar cane and oil palm plantations.

A Mursi explains what is happening:



From the Omo Valley
A Mursi woman speaks out against the destruction of the tribe’s crops. Her identity has been hidden to protect her from reprisals.

Some Bodi communities are already being moved in to camps against their will. A Bodi man said, ‘They are taking our land by force. The bulldozer even cleared the gardens where our crops were growing. They went right through where our sorghum was growing.’

The Mursi have been told they must sell their cattle, and will be moved to the resettlement camps by the end of this year. One Mursi woman said, ‘The other day I went to the Omo River.  I went to my grain stores to get the grain and it was gone. My grain stores had been thrown away (by bulldozers). I don’t like what they are doing. When I went I just cried. Our grain stores were gone. Now we will have big problems.  We don’t know what to do. Maybe we will die.’

Karo and Hamar children bring their cattle to drink by the Omo River.
© Survival

Access to the Omo River is being blocked as the government continues to clear land and build roads to the sugar cane plantations, which are part of the state run Kuraz Sugar Project.

The government is also leasing large tracts of tribal land to national and foreign investors. To the west of the Omo National Park, the Suri are protesting against a Malaysian company which is planting oil palm on some of their best cattle grazing land.

According to one Suri man, ‘The government went with soldiers and for two weeks tried to prevent the Suri from planting crops. This was to force the people to be hungry and accept moving into the resettlement site. Most of the Suri are afraid to go to the place where they plant crops. Only a few went. In one village near the Malaysian plantation, three houses were burned down, with grain stores inside. This was done by the plantation workers.’

Human Rights Watch recently launched a damning new report ‘What Will Happen if Hunger Comes?’ which documents how government security forces are driving communities to relocate from their lands through violence and intimidation, threatening their entire way of life with no compensation or choice of alternative livelihoods.

A worst of Famine & Drought of the century in the Horn caused by excessive damming & land grabbing in Ethiopia announces regime change



The  famine in the Horn of Africa used be blame mainly for the drought caused by the global  climate change ignoring the pricipla culprit the  the dictatorial regime.  In the past the same  has brought regime change in country of  hunger Ethiopia two times,  that of the Negus in 1974 and the Derg  Military Junta in 1991. As the French says there is no two without three, we expecting a regime change in the country since all conditions are meeting as those of the last two experiences    due to the starvation in Wello in 1974 and in Tigre in 1984 which cost the lives of millions in the past. The main culprit for this in human repeated catastrophe this day has been mainly given to the extreme weather conditions demonstrated by hurricanes, floods, droughts all over the globe.


The current drought conditions have been caused by successive seasons with very low rainfall due to wanton construction of the dams all over Ethiopia by the dictatorial regime of Melese Zenawie. Over the past decade the Horn of Africa has experienced consecutive failed rainy seasons having direct co-correlation in this period of intensification of damming in the region.  According to surveys of local communities, this is part of a long-term shift as seen in Borana communities in Ethiopia report that whereas droughts were recorded every six to eight years in the past, they now occur every one to two years since the construction of dams in Omo and Shebelle rivers.

Today’s rainfall projections are unclear. Most modeling, as reflected in the IPCC’s last assessment, suggests more rain will fall in the east Africa region as a whole, with an increase in “heavy events” (sudden downpours, so more flood risk). However, some recent studies suggest rainfall will decrease, particularly in the long rains. To reverse the trend the regional governments must stop wanton damming and wasteful irrigation likes that of Sudan and Ethiopia. According to IPCC’s last assessment, suggests more rain will fall in the east Africa region as a whole, with an increase in “heavy events” (sudden downpours, so more flood risk). However, some recent studies suggest rainfall will decrease, particularly in the long rains.


Since the construction of  the Mega dams in the Southern Ethiopia  the regional meteorological data supported  the argument by demonstrating the increase of the  annual temperatures from 1960-2006 by 1C in Kenya and 1.3C in Ethiopia, and the frequency of hot days is increasing in both countries in the region of the dams. However, more recent research suggests that rainfall decreased in the rainy seasons of March to June.  When it comes to records and data collections like Europe and America climate change could not   be attributed to the Horn of Africa’s drought, since t the current drought is directly climate change. True, there are now a few cases in which scientists have been able to estimate the extent to which man-made climate change has made a particular extreme weather event more likely, but these exercises require reliable long-term weather data that only exists for Europe and North America – no such studies as yet exist in the case of the current drought.

What about the future? Globally, climate change modeling projects an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events like droughts and floods. In the absence of urgent action to slash global greenhouse gas emissions, temperatures in the region will probably increase by 3C-4C by 2080-99 relative to 1980-99. The combination of higher temperatures and more unpredictable rains is alarming for food production. In a   recent estimate horn of Africa could suffer a decline in the length of the growing period for key crops of up to 20% by the end of the century, with the productivity of beans falling by nearly 50% if the dictatorial regimes continue letting land grabbing and disfranchising the local family hold farmers and pastoralist for the sake of this international speculators.  More over, the dam is prepared for these grabbed lands irrigation for an eventual cash crop cultivation of exportation.

According Nobel prize-winning economist Amartya Sen that drought is caused by lack of rainfall, famine is man-made, and thus famines do not occur in functioning democracies.



Melese Zenawie Bought Vote by Food Aid in 2010 and in 1990’s came to Power by Band Aid Complicity

Melese Zenawie the genocidal dictator of Ethiopia came to power in 1991 baying arms with the money collected by Band Aid in mid 80’s. In 2010 he used famine aid money to intimidate the voters to maintain his power for life. Read here under how Band Aid tried to justify how he makes million on the back of million Ethiopian Dry Bones making discs. Bob Guldof and his group must face international investigation on his complicity with African dictator to suppress the famines. Surely he will face the international court of justice with his complicit Melese Zenawie.

Since a criminal comes back on his crime scene, Melse and Bob Guldof continue cheating the whole world. One keeps his powers the other continuing his so called “Band Aid “to perpetuate the starving millions in misery. His disc was in bankrupt in mid 80′ when band Aid ingeniously saved him rather than the dying millions supposedly helped.

Ethiopia uses aid to bribe voters – Human Rights Watch

Ethiopia: Donor Aid Supports Repression

(London) – The Ethiopian government is using development aid to suppress political dissent by conditioning access to essential government programs on support for the ruling party, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Human Rights Watch urged foreign donors to ensure that their aid is used in an accountable and transparent manner and does not support political repression.2008_Ethiopia_AidList.jpg

The 105-page report, “Development without Freedom: How Aid Underwrites Repression in Ethiopia,” documents the ways in which the Ethiopian government uses donor-supported resources and aid as a tool to consolidate the power of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

“The Ethiopian government is routinely using access to aid as a weapon to control people and crush dissent,” said Rona Peligal, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “If you don’t play the ruling party’s game, you get shut out. Yet foreign donors are rewarding this behavior with ever-larger sums of development aid.”

Ethiopia is one of the world’s largest recipients of development aid, more than US$3 billion in 2008 alone. The World Bank and donor nations provide direct support to district governments in Ethiopia for basic services such as health, education, agriculture, and water, and support a “food-for-work” program for some of the country’s poorest people. The European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany are the largest bilateral donors.

Local officials routinely deny government support to opposition supporters and civil society activists, including rural residents in desperate need of food aid. Foreign aid-funded “capacity-building” programs to improve skills that would aid the country’s development are used by the government to indoctrinate school children in party ideology, intimidate teachers, and purge the civil service of people with independent political views.

Political repression was particularly pronounced during the period leading up to parliamentary elections in May 2010, in which the ruling party won 99.6 percent of the seats.

The Ethiopian government is routinely using access to aid as a weapon to control people and crush dissent. If you don’t play the ruling party’s game, you get shut out. Yet foreign donors are rewarding this behavior with ever-larger sums of development aid.(Rona Peligal, Africa director at Human Rights Watch)

Despite government restrictions that make independent research difficult, Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 200 people in 53 villages across three regions of the country during a six-month investigation in 2009. The problems Human Rights Watch found were widespread: residents reported discrimination in many locations.

Farmers described being denied access to agricultural assistance, micro-loans, seeds, and fertilizers because they did not support the ruling party. As one farmer in Amhara region told Human Rights Watch, “[Village] leaders have publicly declared that they will single out opposition members, and those identified as such will be denied ‘privileges.’ By that they mean that access to fertilizers, ‘safety net’ and even emergency aid will be denied.”

Rural villagers reported that many families of opposition members were barred from participation in the food-for-work or “safety net” program, which supports 7 million of Ethiopia’s most vulnerable citizens. Scores of opposition members who were denied services by local officials throughout the country reported the same response from ruling party and government officials when they complained: “Ask your own party for help.”

Human Rights Watch also documented how high school students, teachers, and civil servants were forced to attend indoctrination sessions on ruling party ideology as part of the capacity-building program funded by foreign governments. Attendees at training sessions reported that they were intimidated and threatened if they did not join the ruling party. Superiors told teachers that ruling party membership was a condition for promotion and training opportunities. Education, especially schools and teacher training, is also heavily supported by donor funds.

“By dominating government at all levels, the ruling party controls all the aid programs,” Peligal said. “Without effective, independent monitoring, international aid will continue to be abused to consolidate a repressive single-party state.”

In 2005, the World Bank and other donors suspended direct budget support to the Ethiopian government following a post-election crackdown on demonstrators that left 200 people dead, 30,000 detained, and dozens of opposition leaders in jail. At the time, donors expressed fears of “political capture” of donor funds by the ruling party.

Yet aid was soon resumed under a new program, “Protection of Basic Services,” that channeled money directly to district governments. These district governments, like the federal administration, are under ruling party control, yet are harder to monitor and more directly involved in day-to-day repression of the population.

During this period the Ethiopian government has steadily closed political space, harassed independent journalists and civil society activists into silence or exile, and violated the rights to freedom of association and expression. A new law on civil society activity, passed in 2009, bars nongovernmental organizations from working on issues related to human rights, good governance, and conflict resolution if they receive more than 10 percent of their funding from foreign sources.

“The few independent organizations that monitored human rights have been eviscerated by government harassment and a pernicious new civil society law,” Peligal said. “But these groups are badly needed to ensure aid is not misused.”

As Ethiopia’s human rights situation has worsened, donors have ramped up assistance. Between 2004 and 2008, international development aid to Ethiopia doubled. According to Ethiopian government data, the country is making strong progress on reducing poverty, and donors are pleased to support Ethiopia’s progress toward the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Yet the price of that progress has been high.

When Human Rights Watch presented its findings to donor officials, many privately acknowledged the worsening human rights situation and the ruling party’s growing authoritarian rule. Donor officials from a dozen Western government agencies told Human Rights Watch that they were aware of allegations that donor-supported programs were being used for political repression, but they had no way of knowing the extent of such abuse. In Ethiopia, most monitoring of donor programs is a joint effort alongside Ethiopian government officials.

Yet few donors have been willing to raise their concerns publicly over the possible misuse of their taxpayers’ funds. In a desk study and an official response to Human Rights Watch, the donor consortium Development Assistance Group stated that their monitoring mechanisms showed that their programs were working well and that aid was not being “distorted.” But no donors have carried out credible, independent investigations into the problem.

Human Rights Watch called on donor country legislatures and audit institutions to examine development aid to Ethiopia to ensure that it is not supporting political repression.

“In their eagerness to show progress in Ethiopia, aid officials are shutting their eyes to the repression lurking behind the official statistics,” Peligal said. “Donors who finance the Ethiopian state need to wake up to the fact that some of their aid is contributing to human rights abuses.”

Led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the ruling party is a coalition of ethnic-based groups that came to power in 1991 after ousting the military government of Mengistu Haile Mariam. The government passed a new constitution in 1994 that incorporated fundamental human rights standards, but in practice many of these freedoms have been increasingly restricted during its 19 years in power.

Although the ruling party introduced multiparty elections soon after it came to power in 1991, opposition political parties have faced serious obstruction to their efforts to establish offices, organize, and campaign in national and local elections.

Eight-five percent of Ethiopia’s population live in rural areas and, each year, 10 to 20 percent rely on international food relief to survive. Foreign development assistance to Ethiopia has steadily increased since the 1990s, with a temporary plateau during the two-year border war with Eritrea (1998-2000). Ethiopia is now the largest recipient of World Bank funds and foreign aid in Africa.

In 2008, total aid was US$3.3 billion. Of that, the United States contributes around $800 million, much of it in humanitarian and food aid; the European Union contributes $400 million; and the United Kingdom provides $300 million. Ethiopia is widely considered to be making good progress toward some of the UN Millennium Development Goals on reducing poverty, but much of the data originates with the government and is not independently verified.

Quotes from the Report

“There are micro-loans, which everybody goes to take out, but it is very difficult for us, [opposition] members. They say, ‘This is not from your government, it is from the government you hate. Why do you expect something from the government that you hate?'”

– A farmer from  southern Ethiopia

“Yesterday in fact the kebele [village] chairman said to me, ‘You are suffering so many problems, why don’t you write a letter of regret and join the ruling party?'”

– A farmer with a starving child from  southern Ethiopia, denied participation in the safety net food-for-work program”The safety net is used to buy loyalty to the ruling party. That is money that comes from abroad. Democracy is being compromised by money that comes from abroad. Do those people who send the money know what it is being used for? Let them know that it is being used against democracy.”

– A farmer from Amhara region”It is clear that our money is being moved into political brainwashing.”

– Consultant to a major donor, Addis Ababa”Intimidation is all over, in every area. There is politicization of housing, business, education, agriculture. Many of the people are forced or compromised to join the party because of safety net and so on, many do not have a choice – it is imposed.”

– Western donor official, Addis Ababa”Every tool at their disposal – fertilizer, loans, safety net – is being used to crush the opposition. We know this.”

– Senior Western donor official, Addis Ababa”Which state are we building and how? It could be that we are building the capacity of the state to control and repress.”

– World Bank staff member, Addis Ababa

Ethiopia used aid to bribe voters – Human Right Wach

Aid was denied to those known who belong to opposition parties, Human Rights Watch found

Ethiopia’s government has been withholding foreign aid from opposition supporters, Human Rights Watch says.

Its report urged donors to ensure their aid was distributed transparently.

Ethiopia is one of the world’s largest recipient of development aid – in 2008 international donations to the country totalled $3bn (£1.8bn).

Its government has not yet commented on the report but has rejected similar accusations in the past as “ridiculous and outrageous”.

BBC East Africa correspondent Will Ross says this leaves donors in a dilemma because they are reluctant to turn off the taps as they feel this would reverse the gains.

In May, Ethiopia’s governing party trounced the opposition in elections – only one opposition MP was elected in the 536-seat parliament.

In contrast, the opposition won more than 170 seats and swept the board in the capital, Addis Ababa in the previous election, in 2005.

However, they said they had been cheated of victory and organised street protests.

Nearly 200 opposition supporters and several policemen were killed and a comprehensive crackdown on the opposition followed, with politicians and supporters jailed.

Many analysts suggest the muzzling of the opposition was a major factor behind the governing party’s sweep to victory in May.

Our correspondent says the government has worked hard to deliver services to the population.

But Human Rights Watch accuses the donors of focusing only on the development and ignoring the repression as they continue to pour money into the country.

“If independent NGOs were allowed to work, civil society was allowed to play its role and international NGOs were allowed to distribute directly to Ethiopian citizens then you would cut out the pernicious role that the state is playing,” Mr Rawlence said.

He said that Ethiopia now was one of the most repressive societies in the world.

“People were very, very scared about talking to me – they would only do so in safe-houses,” he said.

Where Band Aid money goes

A new version of the Band Aid song Do They Know It’s Christmas? and a DVD of the Live Aid concert are expected to be big sellers in the festive season. Where is the money going?

No. The bottom line is at least £2.43 from each £3.99 CD single is going to charity, but it may rise to £3.53.

Record company Mercury and the Band Aid Trust say £1.83 goes straight to charity. Another 60p will be paid in VAT then refunded to the Trust by the government.

Record shops would normally keep a £1.10 slice. But most big chains – including HMV, Virgin Megastores, Woolworths, Tesco, WH Smith and Sainsbury’s – have agreed to give their profits to charity.

But it is not as simple as giving £1.10 back per CD. Shops have bought huge quantities from Mercury and need to sell enough to cover those costs before breaking even.

Only then would any profit go to charity – so the more copies sold, the more likelihood there is of shops making a profit, and the higher that amount is likely to be.

The other 46p in the £3.99 covers the record company’s essential costs – such as manufacturing, labels and distribution, which are all done by the company itself. Mercury is not making any profit from the CD.

But lots of people who would normally be paid have given their time and effort for free – from the singers and musicians themselves to PR people, artwork designers, shops that have done marketing activities and TV stations and magazines who have donated advertising space.

What about internet downloads and mobile phone ringtones?

The new version of Do They Know It’s Christmas? is being sold for £1.49 to download, or for £1.99 they will throw in the original 1984 version too.

But unlike CD singles, there is no manufacture and delivery process so almost every penny goes to charity. The same goes for ringtones, with telephone companies giving most proceeds to charity.

How much will be raised for charity?

If a million copies of the CD are sold, the total proceeds going to charity, including funds from downloads and ringtones, could be about £3m – depending on where they were bought.

What about the Live Aid DVD?

1. £1.83 - straight to Band Aid Trust charity 2. 60p - VAT to be given to charity by government 3. £1.10 Retailer's cut. How much goes to charity depends on the retailer and how many are sold 4. 46p - Record company costs eg manufacture, distribution

As with the single, the full price you pay does not go to charity – but it is impossible to say exactly how much does.

Live Aid

A DVD of the 1985 Live Aid concert has just been released

Warner Vision International won a bidding war for the rights to release the 1985 concert for the first time, paying an unspecified but “huge” sum in the millions, they say, to the Band Aid Trust.

On top of that, they are paying an “above-standard royalty rate” that will go up as sales increase.

Record shops and other retailers are taking some of their cut. They pay up to £27 per four-disc set and would normally keep the difference between that and the price fans pay. But shops are believed to be making an unspecified “fixed contribution” to charity for each DVD sold.

Internet retailers are the cheapest, selling the DVD for £27.99, with prices elsewhere rising to the recommended retail price of £39.99.

What will the charity money be used for?

The Band Aid Trust has been going since the original single was released, handing out $144m (£75m) to famine relief projects across Africa between January 1985 and November 2004.

Bob Geldof in Ethiopia in 1985

The Band Aid Trust has been funding projects in Africa since 1985,Bob Geldof in Ethiopia in 1985

Of the latest money raised, a Band Aid statement said: “These funds are distributed to various organisations that implement sustainable projects aimed at relieving poverty and hunger in Ethiopia and the surrounding area via a funding process.

“This involves inviting organisations to submit proposals to the trustees for consideration – those projects that meet the Trust’s objectives and the approval of the trustees are funded.

“The progress of each project is monitored by the trustees through the receipt of regular reports from each of the charity organisations funded.”

Ethiopia indexed worst of the 25 alarming…& Eritrea figured with the Most alarmingly Hungry . Muse Tegegne, Prof.

Ethiopia is indexed  among 25 hungry countries where over 53 % children are stunted, while in Eritrea more than 50 % are starving according to IFPRI.

Ethiopia Ranked the worst among the 25  least to greatest levels of hunger, they included: Nepal, Tanzania, Cambodia, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Togo, Guinea-Bissau, Rwanda, Djibouti, Mozambique, India, Bangladesh, Liberia, Zambia, Timor-Leste, Niger, Angola, Yemen, the Central African Republic, Madagascar, the Comoros, Haiti, Sierra Leone, and Ethiopia.

Eritrea figured among  the most alarming countries with Congo DR & Chad.

‘Alarming’ numbers go hungry in 25 countries including Ethiopia due to poverty, conflict, and political instability causing some billion people to go hungry this year, many of them children in Africa and Asia, according to the Global Hunger Index of 11th of October, 2010.

Out of 122 countries included in the annual report, of IFPRI, Ethiopia & Eritrea are among 25 hungry countries where 53 % children are stunted & More than 50 % are starving.

The Ethiopian and Eritrean poor governance and lack of political interest in nutrition, and stimulating demand is the main reason of the problem.  Both countries do not have the necessary infrastructure to meet increased demand for health care and other services that go hand-in-hand with anti-hunger programs,

The overall number of hungry people surpassed one billion in 2009, even though it decreased to 925 million in 2010. Over 20 billion is from Ethiopia not shown in the index.

Though the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) fared the worst in the hunger index, which is based on data from 2003-2008, the  2009 and 2013  which  is not covered by the IFPR  will put   surely  Ethiopia among the  extreme situation despite the double score economic growth announced t by the dictatorial regime of Melese Zenawie.

The index ranked countries on a 100-point scale, with zero being the best score—no hunger—and 100 being the worst. A score higher than 20 indicated “alarming” levels of hunger and above 30, “extremely alarming” hunger.

The DRC was the only country in this year’s index with a score above 40.

The other three countries with extremely alarming hunger levels were Burundi, Eritrea, and Chad. All have been involved in simmering or open conflict for many years.

With the exception of Haiti and Yemen, all 25 countries with “alarming” levels of hunger were in sub-Saharan Africa or Asia.

According to IFPRI’ Report the Sub-Saharan Africa situation is described as:

2010 Global Hunger Index: Facts and Findings: Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Burundi, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Eritrea have the greatest levels of hunger.
  • Angola, Chad, and Somalia have the highest under-five mortality rates at 20 percent or more.
  • More than 50 percent of people in Burundi, the Comoros, the DRC, and Eritrea are undernourished.
  • In Burundi, Madagascar, and Malawi, 53 percent of children are stunted (low height for their age); in Ethiopia and Rwanda, the figure stands at 51 percent; and in Niger, 47 percent of children are stunted.
  • More than one-third (34 percent) of Mali’s children are stunted, and 11 percent suffer from wasting (low weight for one’s height). Stunting levels were nearly the same in 1996, and the prevalence of wasting has more than doubled.
  • Based on the 1990 and 2010 GHI scores, the DRC has experienced the greatest deterioration in hunger, largely because of conflict and political instability. The DRC also has the highest proportion of undernourished people—three-quarters of the population—and one of the highest child mortality rates in the world.

Three over half of the population in Ethiopia and Eritrea is under-nourished. The proportion of undernourished people and the child mortality rate in each country were among two of the three factors used to compile the index.

According to the report’s co-author Marie Ruel, director of IFPRI’s Poverty, Health and Nutrition division “the third, the prevalence of underweight children, is the most important to address when trying to wrestle down hunger in a country because it accounts for nearly half the global hunger score.”  And she further stressed on the child food security which is 51% of the case in Ethiopia Ruel confirmed that:

“In order to improve their hunger index, countries have to accelerate efforts to reduce child under-nutrition,” with a particular focus on the 1,000 days from conception to the age of two.

“Those 1,000 days… are a key time because damage done by under-nutrition in early life is largely irreversible.”

Adding to the above  confirmation that :-  “a child is not properly nourished during that period, there is “absolutely cast-iron, empirical proof” it will have “profound” long-term consequences, which  ultimately going to have an impact on a country’s capacity to grow economically and socially in the future,”  Tom Arnold, CEO of Concern Worldwide affirmed.

Hunger mitigation programs that failed to focus on children under put Ethiopia “alarming” hunger index despite its relatively high gross domestic product per capita claimed by the dictatorial regime who blow up the growth.

Yet the true progress was found elsewhere, especially in Southeast Asia and Latin America, which both slashed their hunger indices by more than 40 percent since 1990.

Eight of the nine countries in which the hunger index went up between 1990 and 2010 were in sub-Saharan Africa mostly in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

The 2010 Global Hunger Index (GHI) offers a useful and multidimensional overview of global hunger while the two countries of the  horn of Africa boasted as fulfilling  the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 (MDGs).



Global Hunger  Index  2010

Global Hunger Index PDF application/pdf icon

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Ethiopia : 1984 to 1985 famine in Ethiopia

The Great Tigray Ethiopian FAMINE in Ethiopia

The Ethiopia Famine

Ethiopia famine aid ‘spent on weapons’ TPLF’s Aregawi Berhe Openly Admits

Relief Help must be dressed to victim not through the embattled Governments of Ethiopia. Muse Tegegne, Prof.

In case of Ethiopia after the 1980s Bob Guldof’s detoured   Band Aid experience all the relief must be given directly to the people. One must not even address the rebels since they will take the starving population as a hostage as a means to win the war. When it comes to the government who is the main cause of the famine itself will use food to punish those who are not loyal or voting for him.  In either case we have learned from the last   40 years experience that Aid must be directly delivered to the population suffering. We think also this the only methodology to be applied as a principle in any relief distributions in any country like Ethiopia known as mainstay of government instigated famine and conflict.

The actual government in Ethiopia made its way to power by robbing relief and Aid from the starving population and buying guns instead.  Today in power continues to benefit from the international aid to use it to maintain itself in power and dump the money in the international fiscal paradises across the pacific.  Still today those part of the population who are not the same ethnic group as the group  in power or others who are  not  pro government groups will starve to death.

When a natural disaster hits a country a like Chile and Haiti the national infrastructure is also damaged and most of the avenues of delivery are closed. In the last case the international organizations must directly deliver to the people first and then help the government re habilitate itself but not on the back of the starving population. We must not forget that the government was suppose to work for the people a not the vice versa.

Should you consider your feelings about a country’s government when deciding to donate to disaster relief?

A decision to donate towards disaster relief will be determined by a number of factors, but support or otherwise for the government of the country affected, should not be one of them.

Modern worldwide news coverage can bring details of disasters right to the heart of our living rooms.  Reporters, photographers and their producers are adept at being in the right place at the right time, sometimes regardless of their own personal safety, and through their skill and courage we are made aware of the personal tragedies which may unfold after a disaster.

The quality and empathy shown in such reporting can be a decisive first element in a decision to donate.  Michael Buerk’s report for the BBC in 1984, from famine torn Ethiopia, led to a sudden awareness of the horrors unfolding and a tremendous outpouring of generosity from ordinary people.

We see the needs of those affected – housing, food, water, medical supplies, clothing, warmth, etc., etc. and we feel unable, in all conscience, to not donate towards their relief.

But do we pause to consider the government of the country affected?  We may, but this should not affect our decision.  It will not be the government which has caused the problem, and it may be doing all it can in the most difficult of circumstances.

Were we to consider that we do not support the government personally, perhaps because it is too extreme, or because it has a reputation for corruption, should this affect our decision to donate?  I hope not.  The people most affected by a tragedy will need help whatever their government does or does not do, and the less effective the government is, the more those people need our help.

Many examples come to mind.  The Haitian government was in no position, for a variety of reasons, to offer organised assistance following the earthquake there.  Does that mean we should not give?  After the Armenian earthquake in the early 90s, people sat around waiting to be told what to do, the communist regime of several generations having removed their ability to decide for themselves.  Does that mean we should not have given?

And, closer to home, the American government’s failure to act quickly and decisively when New Orleans needed so much help appalled people throughout the world.  But should this have affected whether people donated or not?  Again, I hope not.

The Hazards Of Doing Good

From Live Aid in the mid-1980s to today, Western attempts to help famine-plagued Ethiopia have had little effect. Peter Gill explains why in “Famine and Foreigners.” William Easterly reviews.



If it were possible to sum up in one sentence Ethiopia’s struggles with famine over the past quarter-century, I’d suggest this: It’s not the rains, it’s the rulers. As Peter Gill makes clear in “Famines and Foreigners,” his well-turned account of the country’s miseries since the 1984-85 famine and the Live Aid concert meant to relieve it, drought has not been as devastating to Ethiopians as their own autocratic governments.

Ethiopia is a classic example of Amartya Sen’s dictum that famines don’t occur in democracies, only under tyrannies. The “foreigners” in Mr. Gill’s story either didn’t know about this sad fact of life or chose to ignore it. In any case, the celebrities and humanitarians who rushed to the aid of starving Ethiopians in the mid-1980s unwittingly supported the very people most responsible for those grim days.

he Derg, the brutal Marxist junta running Ethiopia at the time, contributed to the 1984 famine by forcing farmers to sell crops to the state at low prices. Many farmers instead consumed much of what they grew. The tradition of Ethiopians in areas with surplus food selling it to those in famine-stricken areas was thus disrupted.

The Derg, who had come to power in the mid-1970s after a famine discredited Emperor Haile Selassie, further exacerbated the country’s hunger problems with a military campaign—against rebels from the Tigrayan region in the north—that deliberately targeted food production and trade. A government official said at the time: “Food is a major element in our strategy against the secessionists.”

And then the Derg forced people to resettle in the southern lowlands from the parched northern highlands, partly in an effort to undermine the recruiting efforts of the Tigrayan rebels. One instrument of coercion: the relief supplies sent by well-meaning foreigners. The Derg denied food and medicine to anyone who refused to resettle. The refugees arriving in the lowlands found unfamiliar diseases and unsanitary conditions. The veteran aid writer Alex de Waal, assessing this era in Ethiopia, concluded: “Resettlement certainly killed people at a faster rate than the famine.” The aid also allowed the government to reduce its own spending on the domestic emergency and instead buy imported arms, which amounted to billions of dollars at the height of the famine. It took until 1991 for the guerrilla alliance to finally oust the regime.

Fast-forward to the present: Although Stalinist Marxism is done, not much else has changed. The former Tigrayan rebels, led by Meles Zenawi, now rule Ethiopia. The country’s agriculture remains in what Mr. Gill calls “a state of almost permanent crisis.” A famine in the south in 2000 escaped much international notice while the government was busy prosecuting a war against neighboring Eritrea. In 2008, the Ethiopian army conducted a counterinsurgency campaign in the south, attempting to put down a rebellion in its Somali region amid a food crisis there. Human Rights Watch accused Mr. Meles’s forces of “demonstration killings,” torture, torching villages—in sum, “war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Mr. Gill captures the brutality of the Meles regime, but he does not say as much as he might about the government’s failure to address Ethiopia’s perpetual food shortages. He supportively describes Mr. Meles’s decision to continue the Derg’s policy of government ownership of all land. One searches in vain for a suggestion that letting farmers own their land might be a good idea, giving them incentives to prevent erosion and invest in soil fertility.

Mr. Meles’s authoritarian stripes make life awkward for Westerners who want to aid Ethiopians. Mr. Gill quotes Mr. Meles’s writings on the “developmental state,” which conveniently for the ruler “will have to be undemocratic in order to stay in power long enough to carry out successful development.” Elections in 2005 were almost certainly rigged, and critics were jailed in the aftermath. Public protests were suppressed, with hundreds killed. Mr. Gill speaks to a source “surprisingly close to government” who tells him that security forces opened fire “deliberately to show who was in charge.”

The timing could not have been worse. In 2005, Mr. Meles was also serving on British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Commission on Africa, a high-profile panel whose report called for increased aid to Africa. The G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, in July 2005 was focused on Africa—particularly in response to the Blair commission’s report. The Live 8 concerts held at that time were an homage to the Live Aid concert two decades earlier and aimed at mobilizing public pressure for the G8 to indeed increase African aid.

Yet few reporters covering the G8 summit, and surely few members of the Live 8 concert audiences around the world, seemed to grasp the key role played by Mr. Meles, an autocrat who had just rigged an election, killed demonstrators and imprisoned opponents. It was the political cluelessness of Live Aid all over again.

In recent years donors have steered aid away from Ethiopia’s central government and toward local governments. Such efforts have had little effect, though, since the former controls the latter. If anything, the Meles regime has become harsher still. In “Famines and Foreigners,” Mr. Gill shows us the nexus of politics and aid at the core of Ethiopia’s famines. Surely little good can come of Westerners offering their help to Ethiopia in ignorance of the cruel way the country is governed.

Mr. Easterly, a professor of economics at New York University, is the author of “The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good.”


In 2010, WFP plans to help more than 9 million people in Ethiopia. Copyright: WFP/Judith Schuler

Threats to Food Security

• Rainfall patterns (droughts and floods)
• Land degradation (deforestation and soil erosion)
• Population density
• Infrastructure development
• Insecurity and conflict
• Poverty
• Fall in world prices of cash crops


An ancient land with roots stretching back thousands of years, Ethiopia is in many ways culturally, linguistically and historically distinct from much of the rest of Africa.  But like many African nations, agriculture is the foundation of the Ethiopian economy.  The country’s wellbeing is dependent on uncontrollable factors including rain, climate change and the global market.  Droughts in 2008 and 2009 continue to affect the food security situation of 5.2 million inhabitants of Africa’s second most populous country.  Certain areas are currently facing droughts and flooding.

Ethiopia has recently made huge gains in primary school enrollment, rural road investment, health extension system expansion and food security programmes.  Despite these achievements, Ethiopia remains highly vulnerable to food crises, with food insecurity linked to rainfall patterns, land degradation, population density and infrastructure development.  Of Ethiopia’s 79 million inhabitants, about 28 million, or 35 percent of the population, live below the poverty line.  Eighty percent of the population lives in rural areas with limited access to infrastructure, making it difficult for food, healthcare and other resources to reach the area.  Ethiopia is a least developed country ranked 171 out of 182 countries in the UNDP Human Development Index for 2009.

WFP Activities

In 2010, WFP will assist almost ten million people in every region of Ethiopia. The Government of Ethiopia continues to address food insecurity through its Plan for Accelerated and Sustained Development to End Poverty (PASDEP).  All WFP activities in Ethiopia contribute to PASDEP.

The main intervention in 2010 provides emergency food assistance to up to 4.7 million people highly affected by temporary food insecurity. WFP is also a major partner in Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP), which reaches 7.5 million rural dwellers with much-needed support while generating community assets. Launched in 2005, the programme provides transfers of food or cash, or a combination of both, to help bridge food deficit periods and to ensure people do not sell their assets in order to meet their basic food needs.

In addition, WFP also provides food assistance to Somali, Eritrean and Sudanese refugees, people affected by HIV/AIDS, and pregnant and nursing mothers and children suffering from malnutrition. Many pilot projects, such as the Risk Insurance project, are launched in Ethiopia.

WFP Ethiopia’s Development Programme consists of two core components: School Meals and MERET (Managing Environmental Resources to Enable Transition), a programme supporting sustainable land and water management and increased productivity in food-insecure communities.  MERET was recognized at the Copenhagen Climate Conference at the end of 2009 as one of the ways to combat climate change. It has great potential for countries that are unable to withstand climate shocks and proves how community-based land and water management can halt serious environmental deterioration.

The School Meals component and the Children in Local Development (CHILD) initiative focus on supporting formal education and on enhancing child-friendly schools by developing schools into community resource centers that promote good nutrition and environmental awareness.

WFP is working to connect farmers in Ethiopia to markets through the Purchase for Progress initiative.

Major Echo Donation to Support Emergency Assistance in Ethiopia

Ethiopia indexed Poorest most food insecure country in the world, its African capital Addis the most Dirtiest city, while Zenewie brags double digit growth. Prof.Muse Tegegne

The MPI Multidimensional Poverty Index of the Oxford and the UN  put the Ethiopia the 2 poorest country in the world while the Economist put it 1st,  based on demographic morbidity and growth index. According United States Agency for International Development Ethiopia is one of the poorest and most food-insecure countries in the world. And the African capital  Addis Ababa is the   6th   out 25 Most Dirtiest Cities In The World. The famine has become a disese with no cure in  Ethiopia and the recurring famine shows  the same story, same pictures since mid  1970. Ethiopia is rulled by Live Aid funded rebels who came to power robing the Aid money and they hold on to power by the same endemic in human  catastrophe they keep on provoking  as a means to keep power. Ethiopia Needs international intervention blockage to stop Melese Zenawie, but  not finical Aid to perpetuate his dictatorship.

According to MPI Multidimensional Poverty Index put Ethiopia on the 2nd place in the contrary to Melese Zenawies double digit Index.

The MPI goes beyond previous international measures of poverty to according to Oxford:

  • Show all the deprivations that impact someone’s life at the same time – so it can inform a holistic response.
  • Identify the poorest people. Such information is vital to target people living in poverty so they benefit from key interventions.
  • Show which deprivations are most common in different regions and among different groups, so that resources can be allocated and policies designed to address their particular needs.
  • Reflect the results of effective policy interventions quickly. Because the MPI measures outcomes directly, it will immediately reflect changes such as school enrolment, whereas it can take time for this to affect income.
  • Integrate many different aspects of poverty related to the MDGs into a single measure, reflecting interconnections among deprivations and helping to identify poverty traps.

According to a new index developed by Oxford University and the UN, Ethiopia under Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is ranked the second poorest country on earth.

The new measurement known as the Multidimensional Poverty Index, or MPI, will replace the Human Poverty Index in the United Nations’ annual Human Development Report. The new report says Ethiopia has the second highest percentage of people who are MPI poor in the world, with only the west African nation of Niger fairing worse. This comes as more international analysts have also began to question the accuracy of the Meles government’s double digit economic growth claims and similar disputed government statistics referred by institutions like the IMF.

PM Meles says it is possible for Ethiopia to double its …

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In 2009, the percentage of Ethiopians who are in chronic need of food aid tripled to nearly 20 percent of the population compared to 1990 when the country was ruled by the pro-Soviet communist government of Mengistu Haile Mariam. Despite the reportedly worsening economic and political situation  Zenawi government continues to receive billions in aid from the US and other western nations.


1. Niger
2. Ethiopia
3. Mali
4. Burkina Faso
5. Burundi
6. Somalia
7. Central African Republic
8. Liberia
9. Guinea
10. Sierra Leone

Multidimensional Poverty Index

OPHI and the UNDP Human Development Report launch the Multidimensional Poverty Index or MPI – an innovative new measure that gives a vivid “multidimensional” picture of people living in poverty. The MPI will be featured in the 20th Anniversary edition of the UNDP Human Development Report and complements income by reflecting a range of deprivations that afflict a person’s life at the same time. The measure assesses the nature and intensity of poverty at the individual level in education, health outcomes, and standard of living. OPHI has just concluded a first ever estimate and analysis of global multidimensional poverty across 104 developing countries, and is releasing these results in advance of the Report’s October publication.
What is the MPI?

The MPI can be used to create a vivid picture of people living in poverty, both across countries, regions and the world and within countries by ethnic group, urban/rural location, or other key household characteristics. It is the first international measure of its kind, and offers an essential complement to income poverty measures because it measures deprivations directly. The MPI can be used as an analytical tool to identify the most vulnerable people, show aspects in which they are deprived and help to reveal the interconnections among deprivations. This enables policy makers to target resources and design policies more effectively. Other dimensions of interest, such as work, safety, and empowerment, could be incorporated into the MPI in the future as data become available.

The MPI reports acute poverty for 104 developing countries, which are home to 78% of the world’s people.
What does the MPI measure?

The MPI uses 10 indicators to measure three critical dimensions of poverty at the household level: education, health and living standard in 104 developing countries. These directly measured deprivations in health and educational outcomes as well as key services such as water, sanitation, and electricity reveal not only how many people are poor but also the composition of their poverty. The MPI also reflects the intensity of poverty – the sum of weighted deprivations that each household faces at the same time. A person who is deprived in 70% of the indicators is clearly worse off than someone who is deprived in 40% of the indicators.
Why is the MPI useful?

The MPI is a high resolution lens on poverty – it shows the nature of poverty better than income alone. Knowing not just who is poor but how they are poor is essential for effective human development programs and policies. This straightforward yet rigorous index allows governments and other policymakers to understand the various sources of poverty for a region, population group, or nation and target their human development plans accordingly. The index can also be used to show shifts in the composition of poverty over time so that progress, or the lack of it, can be monitored.

The measure, called the Multidimensional Poverty Index, or MPI, will replace the Human Poverty Index in the United Nations’ upcoming Human Development Report.

For the past 13 years, the U.N.’s annual report has used the Human Poverty Index, which employs three basic dimensions — length of life, knowledge and standard of living — to measure poverty in developing nations.

But this year, the U.N. will use Oxford’s Index: a “multidimensional picture of people living in poverty” that complements income measurements “by reflecting a range of deprivations that afflict a person’s life,” including whether a household has a decent toilet, clean water to drink within 30 minutes on foot, electricity, school-aged children enrolled in school and whether any member of a household is malnourished, say researchers.

A household is counted as “multidimensionally poor” if it is deprived of over 30 percent of the ten indicators used by the MPI. Of the 25 poorest countries researchers surveyed, 24 are located in Africa.

The countries below are, according to the MPI, the 10 poorest countries in the world:

Economics focus

A wealth of data

A useful new way to capture the many aspects of poverty

Jul 29th 2010

WHAT IS poverty and when is a person poor? Most would agree that poverty involves not having enough of certain things, or doing without others that richer people take for granted. But what is “enough”, which goods and services really matter, and who should decide these questions—researchers, governments or international agencies—are less tractable issues. Perhaps the poor themselves should have the final word. But this presents its own problems. Tabitha, a 44-year-old woman from a slum outside Nairobi, told researchers from Oxford University that going without meals was “normal for us”. Diminished expectations are only one of the effects of dire poverty.

In the world of international development, most have rallied around the “dollar-a-day” poverty line (or more precisely, the $1.25-a-day measure) and its less acute cousin, $2-a-day poverty. These World Bank measures judge a person to be poor if his income falls short of a given level, adjusted for differences in purchasing power. In principle poverty rates based on these measures count the fraction of people in a country who lack the resources to buy a notional, basic basket of goods.

Despite the many merits of the $1-a-day measure—not least its simplicity—some argue that looking only at income risks impoverishing the debate about poverty. Such complaints can be overdone. Income clearly matters: it determines how much people can buy and therefore whether they can afford to do the things, like eat enough, that critics of income-based measures think are more important. But rising incomes do not always translate into better health, say, or better nutrition. So there is clearly scope for measures of poverty that directly capture the many different ways in which, to quote Amartya Sen, “human lives are battered and diminished”.

A new set of internationally comparable data put together by researchers at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative at the University of Oxford tries to take Mr Sen’s ideas about “the need for a multidimensional view of poverty and deprivation” seriously*. Aided by the improved availability of survey data about living conditions for households in over 100 developing countries, the researchers have come up with a new index, called the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), which the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will use in its next “Human Development Report” in October.

The index seeks to build up a picture of the prevalence of poverty based on the fraction of households who lack certain basic things. Some of these are material. Does a family home have a dirt or dung floor? Does it lack a decent toilet? Must members of the household travel more than 30 minutes on foot to get clean water to drink? Do they live without electricity? Others relate to education, such as whether any school-age children are not enrolled or whether nobody in the family has finished primary school. Still others concern health, such as whether any member of a household is malnourished. A household is counted as poor if it is deprived on over 30% of the ten indicators used. Researchers can then calculate the percentage of people in each country who are “multidimensionally poor”.

Looking at many aspects of poverty at once has several benefits. One problem with considering just one indicator is that some deprivations may be a matter of choice. As Mr Sen has argued in his work on poverty, what matters is not whether a person eats “enough” but whether he eats whatever he does out of choice. Fasting is fine; involuntary starvation is not. Some, for instance, may prefer the earthiness of a mud floor to the coldness of a concrete one. But the number of people choosing to be malnourished, illiterate, lacking in basic possessions and drinkers of dirty water all at once is probably fleetingly small. A person deprived along many of these dimensions surely counts as poor.

Measure for measure

By and large, as the chart shows, countries’ poverty rates as calculated using the MPI differ quite a lot from those based on their $1-a-day rates. In India, for instance, many more people lack basic things, as measured using the MPI, than earn less than $1.25 a day. The opposite, however, is true of Tanzania, which is doing better at getting its people fed, housed and educated than its income-based poverty rate would suggest.

Since the MPI is calculated by adding lots of different things up, it is possible to work backwards and see what contributes the most to poverty in specific places. In sub-Saharan Africa, the material measures contribute much more to poverty than in South Asia, where the biggest contributor is malnutrition. The authors argue that having this information readily accessible makes it easier for development agencies and governments to decide what to focus on. The MPI also does a better job of uncovering long-term trends. Successful reforms in health or education increase earnings only many years into the future but will show up quickly in the MPI poverty rate.

Much remains to be done to refine the idea. For a start, the things the MPI measures are not particularly useful for middle-income countries, which have figured out how to get their people clean water and enough food but where other kinds of poverty still exist. But the principles on which the MPI is based are simple and easily adapted. An index for areas within a single country could draw on more data and could paint an even more nuanced picture: the Mexican government is already using a variant of the index to help monitor the results of its anti-poverty programmes. Measuring poverty is not the same as alleviating it, of course. But the MPI is a step forward.

* “Acute Multidimensional Poverty: A New Index for Developing Countries”, by Sabina Alkire and Emma Maria Santos. OPHI Working Paper 38, July 2010

Finance and Economics

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Famine in Ethiopia ” more hungry Ethiopians, more money the assurer makes …” Dr. Muse Tegegne

The World Food Program  WFP has  wrongly believed that  the so called famine assurance is   the way out from drastic famine in Ethiopia. In contrary to Band Aid’s  mid 80’s unsuccessful direct aid approach,   WFP   engaged a  business type marketing methodology by Insuring against hunger  (IAH). This  supposedly  in turn eradicate     famine  from the the Horn of Africa nation by  stopping   from arriving chronically  by  taking out weather insurance policies on behalf of  starving subsistence farmers.”   Even weather in the horn of Africa is impressible. WFP wrongly advocates this will end the ad hoc nature of aid thus working against  a  government  merely surviving through famine aid even from its inception in  the famine camp during struggle in 1980’s.

Insuring against hunger  (IAH) is a timely profit making  on the name of  food Aid in Ethiopia. Starting   from Band Aid  who  did not try to make money on the name of the starving in Ethiopia ? And  IAH will not be a new phenomenon for the Ethiopian starving dry bones.  According to IAH group ,  the program is effective  by indexing the assurance of famine to the Ethiopian  weather variations which turn  triggers  the so called  payouts for the starving population.  Since  the most destructive variance occurs early in the growing season, the so call assurance money making  assessment can take place well before the harvest how much money its will make.  As the confirmed by IAH itself   the pastorals are not assured since there  is no predictable rain fall in the pastoral areas that is the reason given by the IAH. The truth is that the  pastorals does not own land and they are nomadic types,thus one could not grab their land in case of a catastrophe or non payment. While the settled ones  IAH could easily take   over their land  and make them a slave worker in their won farms with the help of  dictatorial regime of Melese Zenawie . The so called promise for the future ” remote sensing of vegetation to include pastoral areas ” is just an empty promise. It has been over 5 years now nothing has been done (2005). The pilot IAH has a tribal and regional profile in Ethiopia, since it has been  selectively done in region 1 the region of the ruling  dictator.

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5 years after IAH in 2010 over over 14 million people in Ethiopia are going hungry

Can commercial practices like risk management prevent famine? This the Question to the  new manager of the World Food Program  who thinks so and is turning to business to revolutionize aid, we are addressing ?

Could World Bank  finance over 80% of the population in Ethiopia,   who are farmers from the population of over 80 Million to be  assured by the future donation when famine strike?

One thing is sure that as we have  seen in the last three governments in (Imperial, Communist, Irridentist) type of government in Ethiopia   famine has  struck and is striking and will strike a Ethiopia unfortunately. As consequence the Wold Bank and  WFP  better index not on the weather but on the famine itself,  if IAH group are  investing to make money in Ethiopa.  So the IAH will be sure of its bit. The assurance company will be well assured then rather than indexing the climate,  since the weather is not the problem in Ethiopia today. There is ample of rain but there is still famine.

The only way to eradicate the Ethiopian famine is to establish a democratic system of government with a free press and democratic uncorrupted institutions as proposed by  Nobel Prize laureate Amartya Sen. This is the only way out with out we have to stop  betting around the bush and all effort to stop famine in Abyssinia is a nightmare with a dictator on power.

The theory set by Amartya Sen is the best solution for Ethiopia:_

Amartya Sen

“It is, thus, not at all astonishing that no substantial famine has ever occurred in any independent country with a democratic form ofgovernment and a relatively free press. Large famines have occurred in authoritarian colonial regimes (as in British India), in repressive military regimes (as in Ethiopia or Sudan in recent decades), and in one-party states (as in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, in China during 1958-61, in Cambodia in the 1970s, or in North Korea in very recent years). Even though the proportion of the national population that is affected by a famine rarely exceeds 10 per cent, which may be electorally unimportant, yet public discussion of the nature of the calamity can make it a powerful political issue.”

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1998

Amartya Sen

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Academics call for climate insurance role at Mexico Summit 

Ethiopia, 25 years later

Ethiopia a land of 5 million orphans. Where is mother Ethiopia? “Child body trafficking is a mainstay in the African capital Addis Ababa “

Ethiopia a land of 5 million orphans. Where is mother Ethiopia? “Child body trafficking is a mainstay in the African capital Addis Ababa ” Prof. Muse Tegegne

Ethiopia the land of   Queen of Sheba, it was left bankrupt by years of civil war, drought, floods, famine, and disease have pushed many over 5 millions  of Ethiopian children are today motherless because their parents are either no longer living or are unable to care for them.

A number of U.S.-based adoption agencies have been authorized by the Government of Ethiopia to provide adoption services, and several others pending accreditation. The government office responsible for adoptions in Ethiopia is the Adoption Team in the Children and Youth Affairs Office (CYAO), which is under the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA).   Symbolically  the fostering families  are  required  to submit post-placement reports until the child turns 18, very few are respecting them once the got the child.

Adoption from Ethiopia is open to any body while a country like thiland are banning due to chile abuse. Adoptions to both the U.S. and Canada have increased notably. In the U.S. the numbers were 1,725 in 2008, vs. 1,255 in 2007.

According to US/ Canadian agencies  “135 Ethiopian children adopted into Canada in 2007 (latest year available) represented 74 more than the year before, an increase of 121%. A Sept. 13, 2008 Toronto Star article “Doors closing on foreign adoptions” stated, “Some estimate that, because of AIDS and catastrophic drought, there may be 5 million Ethiopian orphans by 2010.”

Embracing Ethiopia – International adoption, parenting issues and 
Last year on July 4th, a little baby all the way in Ethiopia consumed our thoughts! Last year, we walked to the fireworks and talked about how next year, Mekonen would get to be with us. Crazy how a year from then has passed and for the 

“The children are beautiful. Children waiting for placement are male and female, infant to 15 years old, healthy as well as special needs. Single birth and sibling groups are available. Many children have resided in a local orphanage, community care or in the hospital of birth prior to being matched with a family. The children are tested for HIV, Hepatitis B, Tuberculosis and Venereal Disease prior to being placed.”


Today the  adoptions and foster  service providers in Ethiopia has greatly increased. Fews agencies comprehend  the  existing laws and inconsistent policies  among various agencies has caused confusion leading to unprecedented corruption leading to child trafficking.

Recent servant proved anomaly in the adoption policy  and its program in Ethiopia.  The government   nominaly put the follwing  non functionla policy to sell the childern of Ethiopia as a market comedity to the world:-

• Heterosexual couples (with or without children) who have been
married at least 3 years

• Those who have good medical insurance that will immediately
cover your child once he/she is adopted

• Families who have sufficient income

• Couples with a strong marriage and low divorce history

• Not more than 45 years older than the youngest child you adopt

• No history of criminal activity or incidence of child abuse

                • Adoption Advocates International
                • All God’s Children International
                • America World Adoption Association
                • Bethany Christian Services
                • Celebrate Children, Intl
                • Children’s Home Society and Family Services
                • Children’s Hope International
                • Children’s House International
                • WACAP
                • Wide Horizons for Children

Today  many foster familes are complaing the price an Ethiopian child  high in the market .

A  organizations  are set to help these familes to cover the offical price . The worst is the corrupted officals and middle men who makes  on every child. Many kids are  there on the under ground child traficing markets . Some are even sold in black market for body part  trafficking . Apart from abandoned children, there is also a steady increase in the number of Ethiopian children becoming orphans because of Aids.

There are nearly 40 agencies in Addis Ababa handling adoptions.

While we cannot change the fact that adopting internationally is expensive without any kind of adoption financial aid, we are concerned that the expenses often make adopting prohibitive for wonderful families desiring to love a child.”


In 2008, U.S. citizens adopted approximately 1,725 children from Ethiopia. Children of all ages are available for adoption including infants, sibling groups, multiples (twins and even triplets), older and special needs children, both boys and girls. These children reside in orphanages.

  • Children six months to 14 years of age.
  • Both boys and girls are available for adoption. First time parents should be flexible in regards to gender selection.
  • Children are generally healthy, but may have parasites and other treatable conditions caused due to living conditions. Children are tested – at minimum — for HIV/AIDS, and Hepatitis and several other conditions. Special needs children are available.
  • Many older sibling groups are available.

 Ethiopian kids arriving to the US
Fiscal Year       Number of Immigrant Visas Issued
2009                                 2277
2008                                 1724
2007                                 1254
2006                                   731
2005                                   440
2004                                   289
2003                                   135
2002                                   105


  • Adopted orphan abroad

Most of the parents are from abroad. The adoption of Ethiopian children by foreigners has increased sharply in the past few years, with thousands of parents from various parts of the Western world adopting children from this impoverished country.

Kids Care Orphanage is just one of the numerous orphanages and child care centres in the Ethiopian capital.

Mostly abandoned children and mutilated child bodies are  found in the  dark alleys of the African capital . You will  be surprised  at times even in toilets  a cry of a motherless child.

Some are licensed by the Ethiopian authorities, who claim Ethiopian orphans have a right to be adopted, but they practiced daily  sending  hundreds abroad  knowing it must be  a last resort since it is preferable for child to be brought up in their own culture. There are many  who are engaged in child traficing and body marketing too.

Very few are  orphans who merit a well  publicized adoptions, movie star Angelina Jolie adopted an Ethiopian child with the help of  a well known agency  ” Wide Horizons for Children”.

Today  many  local agencies  are are highly corrupted working cladestaily with child traficaing mafias  as a million dollar business.

Officially the process of adopting children from Ethiopia is much simpler than many other country today due to this wicked corruption.

In one of the most well-publicised adoptions, movie star Angelina Jolie adopted an Ethiopian child with the help of an agency called Wide Horizons for Children.

The  adoptive parents are asked  come personally and collect the child. This the moment  they will go to a lot  of unprecedented corruption methods and red tapes. The government has put it  mandatory the foster  the parents to stay at least two weeks in Ethiopia to study the culture. They will in the contrary have  the necessary time  to learn something about Ethiopia’s corrupted adoption and child trafficking  system. Adoption in Ethiopia has not been without international  controversy. It has been well described  as being   a center of child trafficking and body marketing flown out directely to the international Kideny and other body banks. It is a million dollar business. Many  preferred silence not to be a spot light on media and loss a lot of dollars fro the extradition of the motherless child.  Our investigation as proved that most of the adopted one have  one or two of their parents. The true orphans are lingushing in the orphanage waiting for adoption if they  do not fail in the hands of body or child  trafficking mafias those with connection or some relatives in Europe or America end up to be adopted as orphans.

[Ethiopia Adoption]

Ethiopian Child: U.S. Adoption Agency Bought Me

CBS News Investigates Serious Questions about the Legitimacy of Some Ethiopian Adoptions

(CBS) Videotapes showing poor orphans from third world countries melt the hearts of prospective parents every day in this country.

Three children, sisters from Ethiopia are shown in a video – ages, you are told, 7, 4 and 6. Their mother is dead, their father dying of AIDS. A life of prostitution is all but assured – if not adopted – saved – by a loving American family.

It was just such a pitch that spoke to Katie and Calvin Bradshaw, reports CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian. They adopted all three girls through a U.S. agency, Christian World Adoption.

“Aside from the gender of the children, everything else proved to be a complete lie,” said Katie.

In truth, the three sisters, Journee, Maree and Meya – were actually much older: 13, 6 and 11.

While their mother was dead, their father was healthy and very much alive. He was living, by local standards, a middle-class life – an extended family able to take care of the girls as middle sister Meya showed us first hand.

“My godmothers, my aunt, those are my mom’s friends, my uncles, my dad, my dad’s friends, that’s my brother,” she said.

In the last year adoptions from Ethiopia to the U.S. have skyrocketed – growing faster than any other country in the world. They have risen from 731 in 2006 to more than 2,200 last year. That’s nearly six children per day.

Now a CBS News investigation has discovered that growth has turned Ethiopia into fertile ground for child trafficking – a country in which some American agencies and their staff engage in highly questionable conduct.

Adoptive families allege that many children brought to the U.S. are not even orphans, that prospective parents are misled about a child’s health and background, that local families are recruited – and sometimes even paid – to give up their kids.

Which the Bradshaw sisters say is exactly what happened to them.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

“Your dad was paid,” Keteyian asked Meya.

“Yes,” she said.

“From Christian World Adoption,” Keteyian asked.

“Yeah,” she replied.

“For you to be adopted?”


“You were sold?”

“Yeah,” she said.

Christian World Adoption is one of 70 agencies licensed to operate in Ethiopia. Beyond the alleged payment to their father, the Bradshaw sisters say they were told by local employees of Christian World they were only coming to America for an education; that they could return home when school was out. Not true. In fact it’s virtually impossible to reverse an adoption in Ethiopia.

“I thought I was going to be kind of like an exchange student,” Journee said. “Honestly, I never knew that I’m going to be here forever.”

“We have watched our kids grieve and cry and scream and melt down from the bottom of their souls over the loss of their country and their family,” Katie Bradshaw said.

A 2007 video shows Christian World representatives entering an Ethopian village and appearing to recruit children from poor villagers – an unethical practice against Ethopian law.

“If you want your child to be adopted by a family in America you may stay,” said Michelle Gardner. She spoke those words on a tape produced by Christian World for American parents seeking to adopt in Ethiopia. And now says she deeply regrets it.

“I was aware of a number of times when things were problematic,” she said. “And several families where children came over and the children didn’t understand that the adoption was permanent.”

Christian World was founded back in 1991 by Bob and Tomilee Harding. In 2008, records show, the non-profit agency took in nearly $6 million dollars – charging a fee of about $15,000 per child.

Citing ongoing litigation, the Hardings declined to speak with CBS News at their offices in Charleston, South Carolina.

One such case, filed last month, includes charges of “wrongful adoption,” “fraud” and “intentional misrepresentation.”

“How do you respond to charges that CWA knowingly deceived or misled adoptive parents through the adoption process in Ethopia?” Keteyian asked.

“Those allegations are completely unfounded,” said Curtis Bostic, attorney for CWA. He told CBS News he was prohibited by law from discussing specific adoption cases.

“I’m talking to parents who are really upset,” Keteyian said. “Who are devastated with their dealings with CWA.”

“Sometimes, people are upset when they just simply misunderstand things,” Bostic said. “I believe that’s exactly what you’re hearing. There have been thousands and thousands of adoptions conducted by CWA all over the world. Is there going to be a handful of folks who misunderstand, who – or who aren’t happy with their adoption? There’s going to be, and we regret that.”

The Bradshaw family lives with its own set of regrets. Parents who trusted and believed they were doing the right thing. The three young girls are learning to adopt a life far from the country they still call home.

Source: CBS News

Famine Perpetuates while Melese robs Ballots and Funds to ensure his power and start hiding looming hunger like the precedent regimes.

The  famine has returned to Ethiopia it has  never left,  nearly a quarter of a century after the world’s pop stars gathered to banish it at Live Aid, raising £150m for relief efforts in 1985. Millions of impoverished Ethiopians face the threat of malnutrition and possibly starvation this winter in what is shaping up to be the country’s worst food crisis for decades. The government is busy robbing ballots and consolidating its grip in the famined population working for a bread a day in the country side  in its own land sold for international grabbers for a  piece of nothing.


Famine Cover-Ups vs. Fake Famines

By William Easterly and Laura Freschi |

Is Ethiopia having a famine? As often is the case, there are two forces pulling in opposite directions that make it hard to answer the question.

On the one hand, the authoritarian government wants to cover up any famine to mute criticism of its performance.  Ethiopia is due for elections next year, and the government is determined not to go the way of previous regimes toppled in part because of anger at famines in the 1970s and 1990s. The government’s solution? Prohibit journalists from entering the worst-off areas, and fight tooth and nail with aid agencies to repress or delay information on humanitarian needs.

Complicating the situation further is that the government army is operating against insurgents in the suspected famine areas in the South and cites security reasons for not allowing outsiders to enter, so nobody really knows what is happening there.

On the other hand, NGOs have a well known tendency to cry wolf and exaggerate—to see famine where there is no famine—perhaps in order to raise more money for their own organization (I am echoing here fierce accusations of exactly this from Ethiopians I talked to during my visit who were NOT allied with the government).

For example, aid organizations and journalists saw signs of famine in Mali in the summer of 2005. Reuters reported that aid and donations were urgently needed in Mali “where the same famine that struck neighboring Niger is intensifying.” In another article, an Oxfam official was quoted saying: “They say there’s no famine in Mali, but that’s false. People aren’t able to eat for three or four days. Forget the political or academic definitions.” While Mali had suffered a series of droughts and an invasion of locusts which exacerbated the chronic food insecurity there, deaths did not approach famine levels. The predicted high numbers of deaths from famine in Niger in 2005 and Malawi in 2002 also thankfully did not materialize. It’s impossible to know how last minute appeals for funds may have affected these outcomes, but the fact remains that desperate pleas to end exaggerated famines are a blunt  instrument in addressing the causes of chronic malnutrition and long term food insecurity.

In his classic book “Famine Crimes” Alex De Waal observes that NGOs make “habitual inflation of estimates of expected deaths.” De Waal notes that during the pre-Christmas prime fundraising season, ‘One million dead by Christmas’… has been heard every year since 1968 and has never been remotely close to the truth.”

Put into the current mix a credulous Western media that is happy to check the box “Ethiopia = famine,” and is unable to handle subtleties like chronic food insecurity and chronic malnutrition vs. emergency famine. Between unreliable media, NGOs, and government, it is tragically difficult to know when tragedy is happening.

GLOBAL: Analysis: What is a famine?

Photo: Edward Parsons/IRIN
A skeletal child receives emergency food through a tube at a centre in Niger in 2005

JOHANNESBURG, 13 May 2010 (IRIN) – Aid agencies and donors have warned of the possibility of a famine in Niger, evoking images of the last food crisis in the Sahelian country in 2005. Some media organizations have already pronounced the current crisis a famine. So, what exactly is a famine?

“There is no clear boundary or definition [of a famine],” said Christopher Barrett, a food aid expert who teaches development economics at Cornell University, in the US.

“Clearly, 1984 in Ethiopia was a famine [a million people died and an estimated eight million were on food aid]; equally clearly, 2009 in the United States was not [the US Department of Agriculture said on average 33.7 million Americans received food vouchers each month in 2009, the highest number ever].

Barrett said the typical explanation of a famine was “greater than usual mortality that is caused by insufficient availability of or access to food, whether directly due to starvation or far more commonly, indirectly, due to disease or injury associated with severe under-nutrition.”

Stephen Devereux, author of Theories of Famine, a definitive reference book on the subject, noted that dictionary definitions such as “extreme scarcity of food” described a “few symptoms of famine” and selected some factors to “suggest causes”, but failed to provide a “comprehensive and concise” definition.

“A good working definition of famine must describe a subsistence crisis afflicting particular groups of people within a bounded region over a specified period of time,” he wrote.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of researchers, academics and humanitarian aid workers have tried defining it. Devereux quoted an academic as saying that “Famine is like insanity: hard to define, but glaring enough when recognized.”

Why defining it is important?

Controversy has dogged the application of “famine” to several recent humanitarian emergencies: Sudan in 1998, Ethiopia in 1999/2000 and 2002/03, and Malawi in 2002.

In an influential paper in 2004, Devereux and Paul Howe, both researchers at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, proposed a scale to measure famines. “Both before and during these [African] crises, observers failed to agree on how serious the situation was, or how serious it was likely to get,” they commented.

''The search for a definition is not merely a technocratic or instrumentalist concern – it has political significance''

A dire lack of food in Niger in 2005 prompted another debate: using their scale, Devereux and Howe pronounced the situation a “famine”, while pointing out that the international community used “less emotive terms, like ‘food crisis’.” This could possibly have been under pressure from the government at the time which did not acknowledge the crisis.

Defining famine is not “merely a semantic issue – these controversies have important implications for famine response and accountability”, and a lack of consensus over the definition has delayed interventions and the distribution of resources during a crisis, Howe and Devereux wrote.

They cited the 1999/2000 food crisis in Ethiopia as an example. “The contentious issue here was that of scale: because the emergency was confined to a single region [Somali in eastern Ethiopia]”, aid agencies avoided the “F-word”, saying the term should be saved for very severe situations.

A retrospective mortality study suggested that aid agencies had responded late in drawing people into relief camps, “where communicable diseases such as measles spread rapidly, contributing to an estimated 19,900 deaths in Gode zone alone [in Ethiopia’s Somali region]”, Howe and Devereux said.

The 1984/85 Ethiopian famine was another tragic example of donors responding only when people started dying. “In the light of this ‘No corpses, no food aid’ myopia (not to mention callousness),” Devereux said in his book, he had to agree with Alex de Waal, the British writer, author of Famine Crimes: politics & the disaster relief industry in Africa and researcher, “who concludes pessimistically that there is no good definition on which to make a diagnosis of impending famine.”

The search for a definition is not merely a “technocratic or instrumentalist concern – it has political significance”, Howe and Devereux noted in their 2004 paper.

Who do you hold accountable for the deaths from a famine?

Governments and agencies [among] whose job[s] it is to prevent famines “have often exploited the ambiguities in the term to contest whether a famine has occurred, thereby evading even limited accountability for their action – or inaction.”

Accountability, even after [an estimated] 70,000 deaths related to a famine in Sudan in 1998, took the “‘soft’ form of internal agency evaluations and lesson-learning workshops”.

Most definitions of famine had centred on a lack of food, but in the past 25 years the thinking on food security has shifted to the link between poverty and vulnerability rather than low food production, Barrett wrote in a paper. This stemmed directly from a “pathbreaking” book by economist and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation, published in 1982.

Sen’s “famous opening sentences underscore that ‘starvation is the characteristic of some people not having enough food to eat. It is not the characteristic of there being not enough food to eat. While the latter can be a cause of the former, it is but one of many possible causes’.”

Alternate approaches to defining a famine

In the absence of agreement on a workable definition, various approaches have evolved to help humanitarian actors respond to a crisis in time: theoretical, coping strategies, nutrition surveillance, and early warning systems, Devereux commented. According to Sen, theoretical approaches describe the situation but do not provide a “diagnosis”.

The “coping strategies” approach evolved in the 1980s and ’90s, when researchers assessed the response of people affected by a food crisis at various stages to predict a famine.

A typical early-stage response was rationing food and looking for other sources of income. If the crisis persisted, people sold assets.

The next stage was dependence on food aid. If that failed, starvation and famine followed. Howe and Devereux pointed out that these indicators could not be applied universally and were context-specific.

The “nutrition surveillance” approach relied on nutritional data [ particularly measurements of children against tabulated benchmarks,] and used indicators that could be applied universally. These were used by the UN [clearing house] Refugee Nutrition Information System (RNIS), and the World Food Programme, but had limitations in predicting or defining a famine, the researchers noted.

There were “no generally accepted criteria of what rates of malnutrition or mortality indicate specifically that a famine has started. Even within the humanitarian community, some nutritionists and epidemiologists favour a crude mortality rate (CMR) of one or more deaths daily per 10,000 people as the cut-off, rather than the two deaths per 10,000 proposed by the RNIS,” Devereux and Howe said.

Most nutritional indicators dealt with children aged between six years and 59 months, said the researchers, citing the Sphere Project, a voluntary initiative aimed at improving the humanitarian aid system, which noted that there were no agreed definitions and thresholds for moderate and severe malnutrition among older population groups.

Famine indicators

Devereux pointed out that when faced with a food crisis, the adults in a household ate less to ensure that their children had enough food.
“During famines, therefore, child malnutrition might be a ‘trailing indicator’ that may not manifest itself until well after adult nutrition status has deteriorated significantly.”

''During famines, therefore, child malnutrition might be a ‘trailing indicator’ that may not manifest itself until well after adult nutrition status has deteriorated significantly''

Nutritional data could also not function as a reliable indicator of a famine because a child could be malnourished as a result of factors besides a lack of food, such as disease.

The “early warning systems” approach to a famine evolved from the Indian Famine Codes developed in the 1880s by the British colonial regime, according to Devereux.

The Famine Codes described three levels of food insecurity – near scarcity, scarcity, and famine – which used indicators such as three successive years of crop failure, crop yields, numbers of people affected, and food prices, but the measure of these indicators was very subjective.

Various agencies – the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET), the UK-based aid agency, Oxfam, and Save the Children (UK) – have developed systems to predict a famine, but most do not have a precise definition for famine.

One of the most successful prediction tools was the Turkana District Early Warning System, based on the Indian Famine Codes and used in the pastoralist areas of northern Kenya, according to Howe and Devereux.

It monitored indicators such as rainfall; market prices and availability of cereals; livestock production, purchases and sales; rangeland condition and trends; ecological changes; and enrolment on food-for-work projects. The system identifies three levels of crisis – alarm, alert, and emergency – each associated with a pre-planned set of ‘off-the-shelf’ responses.”

Devereux and Howe used a combination of the crude mortality rate and nutritional data to draw up their scale for measuring the intensity of a famine.

Since then, FAO had done some inter-agency work to develop the famine scales into the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) Tool, Devereux told IRIN. It also took into account the indicators in an early warning system developed by the Food Security Analysis Unit (FSAU) [led by] the FAO in Somalia.

The IPC used a number of indicators to pronounce a famine, including acute malnutrition in more than 30 percent of the children, two deaths per 10,000 people every day, a pandemic illness, access to less than four litres of water every day and 2,100 kilocalories of food, large-scale displacement of people, civil strife, and complete loss of assets and source of income.

Daniel Maxwell, an associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in the US, said the IPC definition was the “best consensus”, and was “now widely adopted around the world by FAO”.

Famine Eldorado :- After Band-Aid Assurance-AId

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Watch the new Famine Eldorado. The art of   money  making. Anew method  to enrich  the Assurance companies on the  coming  famine of the  Ethiopians…

Insuring against Famine – Ethiopia

March 29th, 2010

Can commercial practices like risk management prevent famine? The new manager of the World Food Program thinks so and is turning to business to revolutionize aid. Before, the entire agency worked on a crisis happening, explains World Food Programme manager, Richard Wilcox. When disaster strikes, NGOs hawk round begging bowls. Only when funds are in can food be flown to the stricken areas. Its an expensive, inefficient way of operating. Wilcox wants to prevent humanitarian Disasters striking in the first place. His latest idea is taking out weather insurance policies on behalf of Ethiopia’s subsistence farmers. In exchange for a premium paid by the WFP, insurance companies would pay out as soon as rains fail, not just when people start starving. Its hoped ideas like this will end the ad hoc nature of aid.


Throw Your Arms Around the World Bad Aid
It raised millions of pounds to buy relief for the survivors of the Ethiopian famine. Not to be undone, Harry Belafonte and Ken Kragen hastened to bring

We Accuse !! Justice delayed is Justice Denied. We Accuse !!”Sir” Bob Geldog” and “PM” Melese Zenawie the twin criminals :-A regime which came to power through the arms of famine will fuel & entertain famine to maintain power

1984/5 Robbing gun mongering on the name of  the starving millions

In 1984  they  cheated the world  on the name of famine one  to power  the other to be rich and famous.  If there is international justice they  must face right  now.

We Accuse over  the death of  over a Million Ethiopians;

We Accuse robbing the food  & money which  was destined for the starving millions;

We Accuse buying arms with the Band Aid money and enriching oneself  fraudulently;

We Accuse since they continue to this day cheating the  whole world on the name of the dying  Ethiopian/African  dry bones.

They must  be stopped immediately…

We accuse “Sir” Bob Geldog” and “PM” Melese Zenawie the twin   criminals  to the international community :-

Justice delayed is  Justice Denied !!!

When Humanitarian Aid Winds Up in the Wrong Hands TIME

April 2, 2010 by africorruption

British rock impresario and Africa aid promoter Bob Geldof, a.k.a. “Saint Bob,” was back in the headlines this past week after blowing his stack at the BBC for a story it aired alleging that Ethiopian rebels had diverted 95% of the $100 million in Ethiopian famine relief raised in the mid-1980s — much of it by Geldof’s iconic Band Aid concert.


Melese Shamefully tries to deny that he robbed himself to power and he is responsible for 1984/5 million death only 5% of the money  from Band Aid arrived for hungry the rest 95% were used to buy arms.  From the 95% the lion share went to the fiscal paradise around the world and  still lingushing to these days. He rejected  the facts, but  the truth is after  him it wont be long before he pays for his crime….

Bravo Master of deception !!!

Ethiopian PM denies aid was diverted


Stung by BBC allegations that Live Aid money was spent on weapons, Meles Zenawi tells Paul Vallely that the report is based on lies Tuesday, 9 March 2010


Meles Zenawi denies that most of a $100m donation was spent on armsThe prime minister of Ethiopia has stepped into the row between Sir Bob Geldof and the BBC which has claimed that 95 per cent of the $100m aid raised, by Live Aid and others, to fight famine in rebel-held northern Ethiopia in 1985 was diverted to be spent on weapons.

Meles Zenawi, who was one of the leaders of the rebel group the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front, is now the country’s Prime Minister. In an interview with The Independent he said that the BBC had fallen for lies put out by his political opponents on the eve of a general election in Addis Ababa next month.

“The notion that a decision was taken to spend 95 per cent of aid on the military is a complete lie,” he said. “Anyone who knows anything about the situation in Tigray in 1984-85 would know that. The logic of that would be just ridiculous.”

The rebels were then fighting the army of the Mengistu dictatorship whose troops were mainly conscripts who often ran away and abandoned their weapons when fighting began. “We captured large amounts of guns and tanks. We did not need to buy arms. What we needed was food. So why would we sell food to buy arms?” Mr Meles said.

“We needed food because by 84-85 we had an extensive liberated area under our control. But it was terribly hit by famine. The danger was that the population, on whom we depended, would leave the liberated area and go over to the government area in search of food. So we needed the food to keep our people in our area.

“There would have been no military logic in selling food to buy guns. It would have been completely suicidal to starve our own people to buy guns. We would have had no movement if we had had no people. When not enough food was available we encouraged hundreds of thousands of people to make the long trek across the border to Sudan.”

The BBC yesterday insisted it was standing by its story. It issued a statement that said: “Aregawi Berhe, the TPLF military commander in the mid-1980s, told the programme that the relief society connected to the TPLF received about $100m and that a decision was made that only 5 per cent should be spent on helping famine victims. The balance, he said, was used to fund the TPLF and a linked political party. The programme made clear that the assertion was made by a once high-ranking TPLF figure, now in exile.”




The Ethiopian Prime Minister offered some telling detail on timing. “When the planting season arrived we encouraged all the able-bodied to go back to plant. That was the summer of 1985. That was when the cross-border feeding operation began in earnest. The only significant amounts of aid going across the border from Sudan were in that period.”

Significantly, that was a year after Aregawi Berhe had left the area. It was also a year after a photograph was taken showing a Christian Aid worker, Max Peberdy, buying grain from the second rebel quoted by the BBC, Gebremedhin Araya, who claimed he had duped Christian Aid by selling them sacks full of sand. “Gebremedhin Araya was not the head of finance of the TPLF, as has been claimed,” Mr Meles said. “He was in no leadership position. He was just a paramedic.” Christian Aid yesterday disclosed that Mr Peberdy had also left the area a year earlier.

Five other leading aid agencies have criticised the BBC report. Oxfam, Save the Children and Christian Aid were yesterday drawing up a joint complaint. Band Aid’s lawyers were preparing an official complaint for the broadcasting standards watchdog Ofcom.

Sir Brian Barder, a former British ambassador to Ethiopia, stated: “The erroneous impression given by the BBC risks doing great damage to future international disaster relief programmes.”

BBC under fire for Band Aid ‘slur’

Charities in uproar at claims that donations were spent on weapons

By Paul Vallely Saturday, 6 March 2010

Bob Geldof visits Ethiopia in 1985

Bob Geldof and the Band Aid trust are to report the BBC to the broadcasting regulator Ofcom over a World Service report that millions of pounds raised for famine victims in Ethiopia in 1985 were actually spent on weapons.httpvhd://

A group of Britain’s most respected agencies – including Oxfam, the Red Cross, Unicef, Christian Aid and Save the Children – are joining Band Aid in writing an official complaint to the chairman of the BBC Trust, Sir Michael Lyons.

They are to complain of the “false and dangerously misleading impression” created by a report by the BBC World Service’s Africa editor, Martin Plaut, which alleged that 95 per cent of the $100m in aid which went to the northern province of Tigray in 1985 had been diverted for military use by the rebel forces which held the area.

A draft of a letter written by the agencies, seen by The Independent, speaks of “disgracefully poor reporting by the BBC which “relied on dubious sources and rumour” and which was “designed to leave an overall impression that the vast majority of resources raised by aid efforts in the mid 1980s largely went on buying arms”. In a clearly angry tone the agencies say: “There is not in fact a shred of credible evidence that this happened. There is overwhelming evidence that tens of thousands and even millions were saved by these efforts, which were in fact spurred by reporting by the BBC.” The draft concludes: “How the quality of the BBC’s work then contrasts with the quality of this specific story now.”

The story, which went out in the World Service’s Assignment programme – and in a shorter version on Radio 4 in From Our Own Correspondent, as well as on the BBC website – relies on the testimony of two former senior Tigrean rebels. The most senior, Aregawi Berhe, a one-time commander in the rebel army, was expelled from the guerrilla movement in the summer of 1985.

“He therefore not only had a political axe to grind against his former colleagues but he wasn’t even in Tigray at the time,” said Sir Bob Geldof last night, “so he could not have witnessed these alleged transactions”.

The anti-poverty campaigner, who raised $144m for Africa in the Live Aid concert in 1985 – which was spent in six different countries – accused the BBC of “wilfully naive reporting”.

“This is a Ross/Brand moment in BBC standards for me,” Sir Bob said. “This story has gone around the world on the internet and created a totally false impression of what actually happened. At the time of Live Aid we had journalists crawling all over everything we did trying to find something wrong – and they couldn’t.

“And now, on the strength of one disgruntled soldier, the BBC has undermined the faith of ordinary people across the world in the effectiveness of giving to people in their hour of need. It is a disgrace.”


It was not just the volatile campaigner who was incensed. The BBC story was “outrageous and very damaging,” said Nick Guttmann, director of emergency relief operations at Christian Aid .

“It is palpable nonsense,” said Phil Bloomer, director of Oxfam’s campaigns and policy division. “The idea that 95 per cent of aid was diverted is beyond belief. We know because we bought the food, we bought the trucks, we took the food in, saw it distributed and then we drove the empty trucks out.

“You have to ask what is the motive of those behind these claims, made by political opponents of the Ethiopian Prime Minister as an election approaches in Ethiopia,” he added.

“And you have to ask why the BBC seems to have been prepared to run with these extraordinary claims about our work without even putting in a call to Oxfam before they were broadcast.”

“We’re not utter fools,” said Mr Bloomer. “We’ve worked for 60 years in some of the most difficult situations in the world with the extremes of human behaviour and have systems in place to safeguard against diversion.”

A former British ambassador to Ethiopia, Myles Wickstead, added weight to the aid agencies’ condemnation last night. “I’d give no credibility whatsoever to the idea that 95 per cent of aid to Tigray was diverted,” he concluded.

“It was too highly monitored, most particularly that of Live Aid. Some money may well have gone astray in Ethiopia in 1985. But nowhere nearly on the scale which the BBC has alleged.


Land Grabbed  & Famine erupting 2009/10


Response: The BBC was right to report claims of aid abuse in Ethiopia | Comment is free | The Guardian

Picture of Edward GirardetBob Geldof rages against the “thoroughly discredited BBC World Service programme that claimed that nigh on the entire humanitarian relief effort by all aid agencies during the Ethiopian famine was diverted to arms” (My rage at this calumny, 10 March).But the BBC report was not specifically about Band Aid. Nor does it discredit the World Service to report on international aid deliveries during the Ethiopian crisis of the 1980s. The real issue is about the way humanitarian assistance to victims of war and famine was – and still is – manipulated by all sides, whether rebel or government.

They Robbed the world . Band Robbery on the name of the starving Millions…..

Who is right who is wrong  a smoking gun…

Master the arts of becoming rich and  famous  on the back of  th  starving African Dry bones, from Melese Zenawie and his intentional friends.”

They All Need to Return the Money Back  Both Sides to the international body…!!!

Paroles Michael Jackson We Are The World

There comes a time
When we hear a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it’s time to lend a hand to give
The greatest gift of all

We can’t go on
Pretending day by day
That someone, somehow will soon make a change
We are all a part of
God’s great big family
And the truth, you know love is all we need

We Are The World
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me

Send them your heart
So they’ll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stone to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand


We Are The World
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making

We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me

When you’re down and out
There seems no hope at all
But if you just believe
There’s no way we can fall
Well, well, well, well, let us realize
That a change can only come
When we stand together as one


We Are The World
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me

Bob Geldof and the Dictator Meles Zenawie

2010 18:00
Addis Ababa – Bob Geldof said in Nairobi, Kenya that donor organizations involved in the distribution of relief in 19984/85 famine in Ethiopia at the time had condemned BBC’s recent allegation while discussing with Prime Minister Meles Zeanwi on Monday.
BBC’s allegation alleges that millions of pounds raised through Bob Geldof’s Live Aid concerts were diverted to fund TPLF rebel military operations in northern Ethiopia.

10 March 2010 11:22

Arrogant Bob Geldof, sponser of the Ethiopian Dictator attacks BBC

Bob Geldof upped the ante in the row between Band Aid and the BBC yesterday by calling for the director of the BBC World Service, Peter Horrocks – who is also the BBC’s director of global news – to be sacked.

The musician-turned-poverty campaigner also called for two other BBC journalists to be fired after various BBC news outlets claimed that 95 per cent of the $100m aid donated, by Live Aid and others, to fight famine in rebel-held northern Ethiopia in 1985 was diverted to be spent on weapons.

Geldof, who organised the Live Aid concerts that raised $250m to tackle famine Africa, also lamented the “intense systemic failure of the World Service”, which he said was once the jewel in the BBC’s journalistic crown.

He claimed there had been a “total collapse of standards and systems at the World Service which has a special and particular duty of care to the truth”.

The Band Aid Trust is preparing an official complaint to the broadcasting regulator Ofcom about the BBC story, which ran on all main BBC news outlets as well as the World Service.

Last night, the Live Aid organiser called for the sackings of Mr Horrocks, Andrew Whitehead, the World Service news and current affairs editor, and Martin Plaut, the originator of the story, which Geldof claimed was “thoroughly discredited and sexed up”.

Geldof said he was doubly disappointed because he had always been a great supporter of the World Service. He said it “beggared belief” that BBC journalists could take seriously a claim that 95 per cent of the aid to Tigray was spent on weapons. “Where were all the dead people then? If no one was getting food, why was nobody dying? That would have been one of the first questions I’d have asked,” he added. There were not many deaths in Tigray “because they were getting help – and massive amounts of it”, he insisted.

In an article in today’s Guardian newspaper, Geldof says the BBC World Service has a particular duty of care “because in thousands of small rooms in the many dark spots of our planet, people huddle secretly and in great danger [to listen to the World Service] to hear the reality and the truth behind their situation. And to tabloid all that away of an instant? Tragic beyond measure”.

He claims that the reporter, Mr Plaut, and his producers and editors, have, on the basis of unsubstantiated claims, compromised the neutrality of the Red Cross, which relies on its neutrality for access to war zones, dungeons and concentration camps.

“Just as the Ross-Brand affair exposed the systemic weaknesses of the BBC in the area of entertainment, so this now does in the news sector of the World Service – with far more drastic consequences,” Geldof adds. “Why did alarm bells not go off early on in this sorry tale? Where were the checks, balances, neutrality, even-handedness? They all failed at the World Service.”

Senior White House advisers, high-level United Nations delegates, senior British diplomats, many aid agencies, and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia who led the Tigray rebels at the time, had all refuted the BBC story, Geldof insisted, “and yet the World Service is so far off the rails it cannot recognise or acknowledge the truth”.

In addition to the sackings of the three journalists, he wants an immediate investigation into what he claims went wrong. “Steps should be taken to rectify the identified faults,” he says. “The World Service must work very hard to re-establish its hard-won and trusted reputation as the world broadcaster of excellence.”

The Independent asked for an interview with Mr Whitehead but a BBC spokesman said: “Sorry, we won’t be able to accommodate your request.Ethiopia.


I Thursday 4th March, 2010

Irish singer Bob Geldof is said to have been left furious after claims broadcast on BBC said that the millions of dollars raised by Band Aid were diverted to Ethiopian rebels.

Band Aid was a charity featuring British and Irish musicians, founded by Geldof, 58, in 1984.

Allegations that 95 percent of aid money donated to help victims of the 1985 Ethiopian famine were siphoned off had been made in a BBC radio programme broadcast on March 3.

Two former senior commanders in the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) told the BBC that a vast majority of the money was stolen by rebels to buy weapons for their fight to overthrow the Ethiopian Government.

The claims sparked controversy, not least because one of the rebel leaders implicated was Meles Zenawi, now the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and still a leading recipient of Western aid.

Band Aid officials used networks of aid agencies to deliver relief through Sudan to the epicentre of the famine in rebel-held Tigray.

Aregawi Berhe, the former military commander of the TPLF, told the BBC that rebels put on a “drama” to get their hands on the relief money, posing as merchants and handing over bags of sand instead of grain in exchange for cash delivered by naive Western aid workers.

Gebremedhin Araya, another former rebel leader, told the BBC that he was “given clothes to make me look like a Muslim merchant”.

Nick Guttmann, Christian Aid’s director of emergency relief operations, fell short of denying the allegations but said that the story needed to be put into context.

“We were working in a major conflict, there was a massive famine and people on all sides were suffering. Both the rebels and the Government were using innocent civilians to further their political ends,” Times Online quoted him as saying.

Geldof dismissed the claims, saying, “the story and the figures just don’t add up”.

“If that percentage of money had been diverted, far more than a million people would have died,” he said.

“It’s possible that in one of the worst, longest-running conflicts on the continent some money was mislaid. But to suggest it was on this scale is just b******s,” he stated.

Geldof’s stance was supported in a letter to the BBC by former Band Aid officials, including their Ethiopia director, which said that all the money dispensed in Tigray had been accounted for by the organisation.

“The public should not think that the money they so generously contributed to one of the poorest countries in the world was misused or given in vain,” it said.

Max Peberdy, a Christian Aid worker whom the rebels claimed to have tricked into handing over 500,000 dollars, said he did not believe that the money was diverted.

“It’s 25 years since this happened and it’s the first time anybody has claimed such a thing,” he said.

Geldof blamed the story on the grievances nursed by the two former rebel commanders, who had since fallen out with their former compatriots and fled into exile in the Netherlands.

Jamie Drummond, executive director of One, the charity co-founded by Geldof and Bono, said that he had travelled to Tigray with Geldof six weeks ago to see agricultural projects that were funded by Band Aid and Live Aid – which he said could not have been achieved if the BBC’s allegations were true.

The BBC has stood by its report. (ANI)

Bob Geldof anger at BBC over Band Aid allegations, Tuesday 9 March 2010 23.00 GMT

Bob Geldof has launched a furious attack on the BBC World Service over its claim that 95% of the $100m aid raised to fight famine in northern Ethiopia was diverted by rebels and spent on weapons.

Writing in today’s Guardian, the musician and mastermind of the 1985 Live Aid concerts accuses the World Service of a “total collapse of standards and systems”, threatens it with legal action and calls for the sacking of the reporter behind the story, his editor and the head of the World Service, Peter Horrocks.

Geldof also uses the Guardian’s Comment is Free website to lash out at the journalist Rageh Omaar for penning a “ridiculous” opinion piece for the site on Monday in which the former BBC correspondent defended the corporation’s story and its right to investigate the fate of millions of pounds of aid money.

The row began last week when the World Service broadcast an Assignment programme in which a former Ethiopian rebel commander claimed that in 1985, only 5% of the $100m destined for famine relief in the northern province of Tigray reached the hungry.

The report, by the World Service’s Africa editor, Martin Plaut, also carried an allegation from another former rebel that the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front had tricked aid workers into giving them money meant to buy food for the starving.

Geldof and the Band Aid Trust are talking to some of the world’s biggest charities – including Oxfam, Unicef, the Red Cross, Christian Aid and Save the Children – about reporting the BBC to the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom and the corporation’s governing body, the BBC Trust.

But Geldof has now announced his intention to go further.

“We will also take a view on what, if any, legal action we may take both against the journalist in question and the World Service in general,” he writes. “Martin Plaut, [the BBC World Service news and current affairs editor] Andrew Whitehead and Peter Horrocks should be fired. There should be an immediate investigation into what went wrong, steps should be taken to rectify the identified faults and the World Service must work very, very hard to re-establish its trust and hard-won reputation as the world broadcaster of excellence.”

In his article, Omaar had argued that while the interplay of politics and aid was complicated, the BBC felt it had uncovered “credible evidence” during a nine-month investigation and was entitled to broadcast its findings.

He added: “As a Somali, looking at what happened in my country during the US-led humanitarian intervention in 1992 and what is happening today, what I find unacceptable is that a humanitarian operation can be elevated to the status of being above criticism.”

Geldof, however, has hit back at Omaar – and the media as a whole – for continuing to cover the allegations, which he insists are baseless.

“How can you deign to lecture on being above criticism, prompted by the criticism I meted out last weekend to your incompetent mate and his associates at the Beeb, while falling back on the implied assumption that you and by extension all journalists, are above the criticism yourselves? Get it straight, pal – you are not. Either as individuals or an organisation. It’s about time a little more humility was allowed into your closed, self-regarding media world. But like the bankers and the MPs these days, you lot just don’t get it, do you?

He also asks Omaar why Plaut’s allegations have only now surfaced.

“Band Aid has been under the most intensive scrutiny since and most particularly during the mid-80s. Quite rightly too. Pretty weird, however, that not a single one of the dozens of journalists who have travelled with me or covered Band Aid ‘discovered’ Martin Plaut’s ‘story’.”

A BBC spokesman said the World Service would continue to defend its report.

“This was a well-researched programme and the BBC stands by its journalism,” he said. “We are happy to repeat that there is no suggestion that any relief agency was complicit in any diversion of funds”.

However, a senior BBC source told the Guardian that there was concern about the amount of criticism that “a relatively obscure documentary [which] didn’t even mention Band Aid” had attracted. He said: “We are concerned we are going to come under fire. We hear from sensible people in the aid business that ‘of course money went missing – we are just concerned about the 95% figure’ [but] Bob Geldof’s exaggeration that ‘not a penny went missing’ looks ridiculous to us”

Bob Geldof: My rage at this World Service calumny

Rageh Omaar’s defence of the discredited BBC report on Band Aid beggars belief. He ignores the total collapse of standards at the World Service

Rageh Omaar’s piece “Even Band Aid is not above criticism” is ridiculous. It is of course not about me, or Band Aid, but rather a defence of journalistic exceptionalism, and the now thoroughly discredited BBC World Service programme that “sexed up” a claim that nigh-on the entire humanitarian relief effort by all aid agencies was diverted to arms in Tigray province in 1985.

He allies himself with the programme’s dubious technique of using a “star” name to attract attention to an otherwise unexceptional or dubious point of view in the hope that it will gather attention.

So let me first say that far from being above criticism, should Rageh or the World Service colleague he seeks to protect have done the basic journalistic gig of doing a teensy bit of research before they write their stories by, say, doing something basic like maybe Googling my name, he would immediately be overwhelmed by a 35-year torrent of vituperation and condemnation of everything about me – from my suspiciously foreign-sounding name to my shaving and bathing habits, hairstyle (fair enough!), my partners, children, domestic life, temperament, driving habits, political views, attitudes, clothing, style, music, driving and on and on. No, Rageh, rest assured, I am definitely not above criticism – but again, please, for the sake of veracity, and again, I extend this to the wretched Martin Plaut, your fellow journalist, stop venturing palpably untrue statements dressed up as fact.

And how arrogant you are, how self-important, that you should deign to lecture on the implied assumption that you, and by extension all journalists – and specifically in this case the BBC World Service – are above the criticism that you are so busily wagging your finger at me for, and which I (clearly getting above my station) have last weekend meted out to your incompetent mate and his associates at the Beeb. Get it straight, pal – you are not. Either as individuals or organisations. It’s about time a little humility was allowed into your closed self-regarding little media world. But like the bankers and the MPs these days, you lot just don’t get it, do you?

As for Band Aid, well, as a trustee said to me, sickened upon seeing the shameful Times cartoon which accepted the BBC story as gospel (of course) without asking any questions: “We’ve taken it on the chin for 25 years and never said anything. Not this time.” Definitely not this time. The Band Aid Trust is reporting BBC World Service to Ofcom and the BBC board of directors, and we have requested transcripts of all interviews from the show in question from the deputy chairman of the BBC. We will also take a view on what legal action we may take both against the journalist in question and World Service in general. Criticism, no problem, Rageh. Calumny, no.

Band Aid, too, Mr Omaar, has been a constant target over the years, had you but had the decency to bother checking before uttering your pathetic interpretation of press freedom as allowing any clown carte blanche to interpret reporting as an excuse for half-truth, distortion, and innuendo and unsubstantiated claims. The journalism of “making it up”.

As you probably know anyway, but it just doesn’t fit into your pompous guff this time, Band Aid has been under the most intensive scrutiny since and most particularly during the mid-80s. Quite rightly, too. We have an obligation to all those who entrusted us with their money and more particularly to those in whose name it was given. That is what I and my fellow trustees have been doing for the last 26 years. Same guys, same trust. And we ain’t stopping now. Pretty weird, however, that not one, not a single one of the dozens of journalists of record and others who have travelled with me or covered Band Aid “discovered” Martin Plaut’s “story” (and story is indeed what it is). Some feel the press has a right to lie. Rageh, no such right exists.

The real story of this sorry saga is the intense systemic failure of the World Service, that cherry on the cake of the BBC’s reputation. It’s a rotten old cherry these days. And I am as bereft as a jilted lover. Of all the taxes I pay, I pay only one gladly – my licence fee. I am Mr World Service. I have done ads promoting the BBC, I have written and spoken in its defence, it is indeed the BBC who started me and others on this African journey; I believe it must, at all costs, be retained very similar to what it is now, albeit cutting away the deadwood and slack. But basically: “I Want My BBC!”

But this BBC story was neither about me nor Band Aid. By disingenuously posturing as “serious” reporting, it pretended the total failure and negligence of all the great humanitarian workers and their organisations in the worst famine in modern times, and how miraculously not one of them spotted that no one was getting food despite everyone supplying it!

It beggars belief that anyone would take that seriously. Where were all the dead people then? If no one was getting food, why was nobody dying? That would have been one of the first questions I’d have asked. But they weren’t dying because they were getting help, and massive amounts of it. But of course no one did ask where the bodies were at the World Service. That and many, many, other unasked questions.

No, this story here is of the total collapse of standards and systems at the World Service, which has a special and particular duty of care to the truth. Why? Because in hundreds – perhaps thousands – of small rooms in the many dark spots of our planet people huddle secretly and in great danger to hear the reality and the truth behind their situation. Because in deserts and jungles, I have listened to the world tell its story to me through this miraculous brave station. And to tabloid all that away of an instant? Tragic beyond measure.

Where were the producers and editors and seniors? Why was Plaut allowed to go mad on his pre- and post- media interview circus around the world with bonkers wild accusations? Just to get an audience? Did he and the World Service for one second comprehend the enormous damage and danger he immediately put every humanitarian worker in? Particularly the huge, brave and brilliant Red Cross? Did he not consider, for one microsecond, the consequences of accusing them, with absolutely no evidence whatsoever, that they had handed over 95% of their cash to purchase arms?

It literally beggars belief at the enormity of the consequence had his lie not been nailed immediately and with as much vehemence as could be mustered. How appalling the utter and total disregard or incomprehension of the result of his actions. What if the Red Cross, now compromised in their neutrality, were ordered away from war zones, or forbidden access to the deepest dungeons, or concentration camps? What then, Rageh Omaar and Martin Plaut? What then of your smug certitudes and thin pieties? Then you could report on the blood on your own hands rather than falsely smear it over the hands of others. How dare you, Rageh Omaar, attempt to defend the awful indefensible. Just for that alone, Plaut should be fired. You people, you self-important mediators of “news”, should wise up and accept a little humility rather than attack the aid agencies and their workers for being above criticism and ask yourself, as I do, who the hell are you to lecture?

Just as the Ross-Brand affair exposed the systemic weaknesses of the BBC in the area of entertainment, so this now does in the news sector of the World Service – albeit with far more drastic consequences. Where were the editors, subs and producers? As the Independent rightly asked, “Did the bells not go off” early on in this sorry tale? Where were the checks, balances, neutrality, even-handedness? They all failed at the World Service. Worse, they inconsistently and continuously contradicted themselves in their ludicrously pompous Rorke’s Drift-type face-saving insistence on “sticking by their story”. Well, they were right in the use of the word “story”.

Despite the on-the record refutation of everything in Plaut’s report by very senior White House advisers, high-level UN delegates, senior British ex-ambassadors and diplomats, all the aid agencies, the leader of rest the Tigrayan relief group at the time, the prime minister of Ethiopia and rebel leader at the time, and me, and without a single shred of evidence, not one iota of evidence, they cannot bear to acknowledge the grim reality, the actual truth – that they were wrong. The BBC World Service is so far off the rails it quite literally cannot recognise or acknowledge truth when it encounters it.

Martin Plaut, Andrew Whitehead and Peter Horrocks should be fired. There should be an immediate investigation into what went wrong; steps should be taken to rectify the identified faults; and the World Service must work very, very hard to re-establish its glorious trust and hard-won reputation as the world broadcaster of excellence.

Ethiopia’s Famine Announces a Regime Change in a Quarter of a Century for the 3rd Time

In Ethiopia :-

1. Catastrophic Famine of 1974  of the Negus

Resulted  100 thousnds died  and the Imperial Regime Fall from power  by hungered Ethiopians in early days of the 1974 Wollo Famine,

2. The Biblical Famine of 1984-1991 of the Derg

The Derg regime fall provoked by  famine of Tigre starting 1984, and killed over 2 million lives

3. The Armageddon Famine 2005-2012 of Woyane

Today the we are  witnessing  for the third time the  coming  fall of  Woyane regime   due to all Ethiopian   famine. This is  due to  total nationalization of  all the land of Ethiopia. It has been sold today  to Land Grabbers 1.5 usd per hectare per year  for 48 years,  while in   India the same  is leased  for 350 per hectare per year… but in difference to Ethiopia  in India the money goes to the people not to the regime. The  Woyane government has been deliberately instigating   famine which reached in the end of 2009 over 15 million. Like the communist regime of the Derg,  Woyane manipulate the aid as a main  source of income the last 18 years.

—————————- ————————–

Peter Singer

“affluent people have a strong obligation to relieve famine. If they fail, they allow others to die, and makes them murderers”

Prof. Peter Singer  in Famine, Affluence, and Morality in  The  Journal of   The Royal Institute of Philosophy 2002.

Cursed with chronically oppressive and incompetent governments, Ethiopians have endured

mass starvation almost as a matter of course.81 During the early 1970s, the country suffered a series of droughts that put tremendous strain on its food supply. Emperor Haile Selassie and his government by and large ignored the resulting hunger.82 They paid a price for this indifference; by exploiting national unrest fueled in part by starvation, a Communist-led uprising overthrew Haile Selassie and, after a few years of internecine fighting, the Dergue, an extreme left-wing faction, took over. The Dergue, led by Col. Mengistu Haile Meriam, embarked in the late 1970s on a radical Marxist redistribution of property and collectivization of agriculture, echoing Stalin’s “reforms.”83 True to the Soviet model, the state levied large grain quotas on farmers, subjected them to heavy taxation, and forced them to sell grain to the government at greatly undervalued prices.84 These policies destroyed incentives and led to dramatic falls in productivity.85 It was not so clear as in Stalin’s case that the government had declared war on its own citizens. However, the misguided adherence to Communist dogma by an inept regime eviscerated individuals’ preexisting abilities to feed themselves while the government took no corresponding action to provide an alternative.86 This government-manufactured food shortage, however inadvertent, left Ethiopians increasingly vulnerable to exogenous faminogenic shocks by the early 1980s. Such a shock came in the form of severe drought. It is tempting, but incorrect, to hold this natural disaster liable for the famine that ensued.87 Other parts of sub-Saharan Africa were hit at the same time— neighboring Kenya suffered the same drought as Ethiopia—without an outbreak of famine.88 The Dergue’s disastrous macroeconomic policies made Ethiopia particularly susceptible. The forcible expropriation of property in the form of high grain quotas and excessive taxation, combined with artificially low market prices due to government constraints, prevented farmers from either keeping their grain for themselves or selling it for enough to buy food. Faced with poor weather, peasants were defenseless, unable to exercise their traditional “coping” mechanisms to mitigate the effects of drought.89 A report on the famine labels these as longterm causes, finding that hunger was due to the deterioration in the productive capacity of the peasant populations and the elimination of traditional methods of coping with predictable fluctuations in climatic and environmental factors. “Foremost among these factors were government programs, redistribution of land, confiscation of grain and livestock through excessive taxes and obligations, and coercive labor programs and a decline in available labor force.”90 As Clay and Holcomb observe, “Famine . . . resulted primarily from government policies . . . implemented in order to accomplish massive collectivization of agricultural production and to secure central government control over productive regions of the country where indigenous peoples have developed strong anti-government resistance.”91 These government policies, while perhaps not intentionally faminogenic, were pursued in spite of significant evidence that they were leading to disaster. After years of such malpractice, the consequences were made clearer and clearer to the government.92 Still, in 1985, after the famine was already in full swing, the Dergue authorities persisted with their disastrous policies.93 But the Dergue was not just recklessly indifferent. The famine did not strike all of Ethiopia equally but, rather, was targeted at Wollo and Tigray, with a sharp, but brief, episode in Eritrea.94 Not coincidentally, these three areas were homes to separatist rebellions that were assailed in accordance with a withering counterinsurgency strategy. The fierceness of the famine in these combat zones arose out of the Dergue’s deliberate use of starvation as a weapon.


“there has never been a famine in a functioning multiparty

democracy,”40 constitutes the backdrop for the argument connecting famine to human agency. Sen and Drèze observe that it is not exogenous faminogenic shocks like drought but

“negligence or smugness or callousness on the part of the non-responding authorities” rèze and Sen argue that “it has to be recognized that even when the prime mover in a famine is a natural occurrence such as a flood or a drought, what its impact will be on the population would depend on how society is organized.”


From famines to philosophy: Sen and the art of humanistic economics

============== ================= The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on its award of the Nobel Prize for economics to Amartya Sen. The Prize will be presented to Dr Sen in Stockholm on Thursday. Amartya Sen has made several key contributions to the research on fundamental problems in welfare economics. His contributions range from axiomatic theory of social choice, over definitions of welfare and poverty indexes, to empirical studies of famine. They are tied closely together by a general interest in distributional issues and a particular interest in the most impoverished members of society. Sen has clarified the conditions which permit aggregation of individual values into collective decisions, and the conditions which permit rules for collective decision-making that are consistent with a sphere of rights for the individual. By analysing the available information about different individuals’ welfare when collective decisions are made, he has improved the theoretical foundation for comparing different distributions of society’s welfare and defined new, and more satisfactory, indexes of poverty. In empirical studies, Sen’s applications of his theoretical approach have enhanced our understanding of the economic mechanisms underlying famines. Can the values which individual members of society attach to different alternatives be aggregated into values for society as a whole, in a way that is both fair and theoretically sound? Is the majority principle a workable decision rule? How should income inequality be measured? When and who can we compare the distribution of welfare in different societies? How should we best determine whether poverty is on the decline? What are the factors that trigger famines? By answering questions such as these, Amartya Sen has made a number of noteworthy contributions to central fields of economic science and opened up new fields of study for subsequent generations of researchers. By combining tools from economics and philosophy, he has restored an ethical dimension to the discussion of vital economic problems.

Individual values and collective decisions

_____________________ _____________________ When there is general agreement, the choices made by society are uncontroversial. When opinions differ, the problem is to find methods for bringing together different opinions in decisions which concern everyone. The theory of social choice is preoccupied precisely with this link between individual values and collective choice. Fundamental questions are whether — and, if so, in what way — preferences for society as a whole can be consistently derived from the preferences of its members. The answers are crucial for the feasibility of ranking, or otherwise evaluating, different social states and thereby constructing meaningful measures of social welfare. Majority rule ————- ————– Majority voting is perhaps the most common rule for making collective decisions. A long time ago, this rule was found to have serious deficiencies, in addition to the fact that it may allow a majority to suppress a minority. In some situations it may pay off to vote strategically (that is by not voting for the preferred alternative), or to manipulate the order in which different alternatives are voted upon. Voting between pairs of alternatives sometimes fails to produce a clear result in a group. A majority may thus prefer alternative ‘A’ to alternative ‘B’ whereas a (second) majority prefers ‘B’ to ‘C’; meanwhile, a (third) majority prefers ‘C’ to ‘A’. In the wake of this kind of “intransitivity”, the decision rule cannot select an alternative that is unambiguously best for any majority. In collaboration with Prasanta Pattanaik, Amartya Sen has specified the general conditions that eliminate intransitivities of majority rule. In the early fifties, such problems associated with rules for collective choice motivated economics laureate Kenneth Arrow (1972) to examine possible rules for aggregating individual preferences (values, votes), where majority rule was only one of many alternatives. His surprising but fundamental result was that no aggregation (decision) rule exists that fulfils five conditions (axioms), each of which appears very reasonable on its own. This so-called impossibility theorem seemed to be an insurmountable obstacle to progress in the normative branch of economics for a long time. How could individual preferences be aggregated and different social states evaluated in a theoretically satisfactory way? Sen’s contributions from the mid-sixties onwards were instrumental in alleviating this pessimism. His work not only enriched the principles of social choice theory; it also opened up new and important fields of study. Sen’s monograph, Collective Choice and Social Welfare, from 1970 was particularly influential and inspired many researchers to renew their interest in basic welfare issues. Its style, interspersing formally and philosophically oriented chapters, gave the economic analysis of normative problems a new dimension. In the book as well as many separate articles, Sen treated problems such as: majority rule, individual rights, and the availability of information about individual welfare. Individual rights A self-evident prerequisite for a collective decision-making rule is that it should be “non-dictatorial”; that is, it should not reflect the values of any single individual. A minimal requirements for protecting individual rights is that the rule should respect the individual preferences of at least some people in at least some dimension, for instance regarding their personal sphere. Sen pointed to a fundamental dilemma by showing that no collective decision rule can fulfil such a minimal requirement on individual rights and the other axioms in Arrow’s impossibility theorem. This finding initiated an extensive scientific discussion about the extent to which a collective decision rule can be made consistent with a sphere of individual rights. Information about the welfare of individuals Traditionally, the theory of social choice had only assumed that every individual can rank different alternatives, without assuming anything about interpersonal comparability. This assumption certainly avoided the difficult question of whether the utility individuals attach to different alternatives can really be compared. Unfortunately, it also precluded saying anything worthwhile about inequality. Sen initiated an entirely new field in the theory of social choice, by showing how different assumptions regarding interpersonal comparability affect the possibility of finding a consistent, non-dictatorial rule for collective decisions. He also demonstrated the implicit assumptions made when applying principles proposed by moral philosophy to evaluate different alternatives for society. The utilitarian principle, for instance, appeals to the sum of all individuals’ utility when evaluating a specific social state; this assumes that differences in the utility of alternative social states can be compared across individuals. The principle formulated by the American philosopher John Rawls — that the social state should be evaluated only with reference to the individual who is worst off — assumes that the utility level of each individual can be compared to the utility of every other individual. Later developments in social choice rely, to a large extent on Sen’s analysis of the information about, and interpersonal comparability of, individual utilities. Indexes of welfare and poverty In order to compare distributions of welfare in different countries, or to study changes in the distribution within a given country, some kind of index is required that measures differences in welfare or income. The construction of such indexes is an important application of the theory of social choice, in the sense that inequality indexes are closely linked to welfare functions representing the values of society. Serge Kolm, Anthony Atkinson and — somewhat later — Amartya Sen were the first to derive substantial results in this area. Around 1970, they clarified the relation between the so-called Lorentz curve (that describes the income distribution), the so-called Gini coefficient (that measures the degree of income inequality), and society’s ordering of different income distributions. Sen has later made valuable contributions by defining poverty indexes and other welfare indicators. Poverty indexes A common measure of poverty in a society is the share of the population, H, with incomes below a certain, predetermined, poverty line. But the theoretical foundation for this kind of measure was unclear. It also ignored the degree of poverty among the poor; even a significant boost in the income of the poorest groups in society does not affect H as long as their incomes do not cross the poverty line. To remedy these deficiencies, Sen postulated five reasonable axioms from which he derived a poverty index: P=H.[I+(1-I). G]. Here, G is the Gini coefficient, and I is a measure (between 0 and 1) of the distribution of income, both computed only for the individuals below the poverty line. Relying on his earlier analysis of information about the welfare of single individuals, Sen clarified when the index can and should be applied; comparisons can, for example, be made even when data are problematic, which is often the case in poor countries where poverty indexes have their most intrinsic application. Sen’s poverty index has subsequently been applied extensively by others. Three of the axioms he postulated have been used by those researchers, who have proposed alternative indexes. Welfare indicators A problem when comparing the welfare of different societies is that many commonly used indicators, such as income per capita, only take average conditions into account. Sen has developed alternatives, which also encompass the income distribution. A specific alternative — which, like the poverty index, he derived from a number of axioms — is to use the measure y.(1-G), where y is income per capita and G is the Gini coefficient. Sen has emphasised that what creates welfare is not goods as such, but the activity for which they are acquired. According to this view, income is significant because of the opportunities it creates. But the actual opportunities — or capabilities, as Sen calls them — also depend on a number of other factors, such as health; these factors should also be considered when measuring welfare. Alternative welfare indicators, such as the United Nations Human Development Index, are constructed precisely in this spirit. Amartya Sen has pointed out that all well-founded ethical principles presuppose equality among individuals in some respect. But as the ability to exploit equal opportunity varies across individuals, the distribution problem can never be fully solved; equality in some dimension necessarily implies inequality in others. In which dimension we advocate equality and in which dimensions we have to accept inequality obviously depends on how we evaluate the different dimensions of welfare. In analogy with his approach to welfare measurement, Sen maintains that capabilities of individuals constitute the principal dimension in which we should strive for equality. At the same time, he observes a problem with this ethical principle, namely that individuals make decisions which determine their capabilities at a later stage. Welfare of the poorest In his very first articles, Sen analysed the choice of production technology in developing countries. Indeed, almost all of Sen’s works deal with development economics, as they are often devoted to the welfare of the poorest people in society. He has also studied actual famines, in a way quite in line with his theoretical approach to welfare measurement. Analysis of famine Sen’s best known work in this area is his book from 1981: Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation. Here, he challenges the common view that a shortage of food is the most important (sometimes the only) explanation for famine. On the basis of a careful study of a number of such catastrophes in India, Bangladesh, and Saharan counties, from the Forties onwards, he found other explanatory factors. He argues that several observed phenomena cannot in fact be explained by a shortage of food alone, for example that famines have occurred even when the supply of food was not significantly lower than during previous years (without famines), or that famine stricken areas have sometime exported food. Sen shows that a profound understanding of famine requires a thorough analysis of how various social and economic factors influence different groups in society and determine their actual opportunities. For example, part of his explanation for the Bangladesh famine of 1974 is that flooding throughout the country that year significantly raised food prices, while work opportunities for agricultural workers declined drastically as one of the crops could not be harvested. Due to these factors, the real incomes of agricultural workers declined so much that this group was disproportionately stricken by starvation. Later works by Sen (summarised in a book from 1989 with Jean Dreze) discuss — in a similar spirit — how to prevent famine, or how to limit the effects of famine once it has occurred. Even though a few critics have questioned the validity of some empirical results in Poverty and Famine, the book is undoubtedly a key contribution to development economics. With its emphasis on distributional issues and poverty, the book rhymes well with the common theme in Amartya Sen’s research. __________________________________________

The Real Causes of Famine

By Jeffrey Sachs Amartya Sen, this year’s Nobel prizewinner in economics, has helped give voice to the world’s poor. And that is no small matter, for the very lives of the world’s poor may depend on having their voices heard. In a lifetime of careful scholarship, Sen has repeatedly returned to a basic theme: even impoverished societies can improve the well-being of their least advantaged members. Societies that attend to the poorest of the poor can save their lives, promote their longevity and increase their opportunities through education and productive work. Societies that neglect the poor, on the other hand, may inadvertently allow millions to die of famine–even in the middle of an economic boom, as occurred during the great famine in Bengal, India, in 1943, the subject of Sen’s most famous case study. Sen demonstrated that the Bengal famine was caused by an urban economic boom that raised food prices, thereby causing millions of rural workers to starve to death when their wages did not keep up. And why didn’t the government react by dispensing emergency food relief? Sen’s answer was enlightening. Because colonial India was not a democracy, he said, the British rulers had little interest in listening to the poor, even in the midst of famine. This political observation gave rise to what might be called Sen’s Law: shortfalls in food supply do not cause widespread deaths in a democracy because vote-seeking politicians will undertake relief efforts; but even modest food shortfalls can create deadly famines in authoritarian societies. Sen has placed great emphasis on poor societies that have achieved high standards in health and education. Costa Rica, for example, which has an average annual income that is only about one-fourth the U.S. level, boasts a life expectancy of 76 years–almost identical to the U.S.’s. Reason: Costa Rica disbanded its army in 1949 and focused public spending on basic health and education. Brazil, by contrast, has almost the same average income as Costa Rica, but a life expectancy that is 10 years lower. Brazil has greater social inequalities, and much of the population lives in deep poverty. Sen’s observations have been taken to heart in the valuable Human Development Report issued annually by the United Nations Development Program. That document features a Human Development Index that ranks countries by a combination of three factors: average income, educational attainment and life expectancy. Thus, Costa Rica ranks 62nd from the top in average income but much better, at 39th, in the Human Development Index. These rankings convey Sen’s powerful message: annual income growth is not enough to achieve development. Societies must pay attention to social goals as well, always leaning toward their most vulnerable citizens, and overcoming deep-rooted biases to invest in the health and well-being of girls as well as boys. In a world in which 1.5 billion people subsist on less than $1 a day, this Nobel Prize can be not just a celebration of a wonderful scholar but also a clarion call to attend to the urgent needs and hopes of the world’s poor. Jeffrey Sachs is director of the Harvard Institute for International Development



VOA ..

In 1984 and 1985, famine struck East Africa. More than one million people died. Millions more went hungry. Crops turned to dust, livestock were decimated. Ethiopia has experienced other food crises, but the magnitude of the 1984 famine captured the attention of the world. Why was it so severe, and what lessons have been learned since then? Background: The 1984 Crisis ———————– ————————- In the radio reports below, recorded 25 years ago, VOA’s Dan Robinson describes the development of the famine and the world’s response. Lessons Learned Some lessons have been learned in the past 25 years, as highlighted in the videos below. For instance, the Ethiopian government has implemented a safety net program to address the chronic need for food and anticipate emergencies. A national grain reserve can now provide a cushion in times of crisis until emergency food aid arrives. VOA has also reported on the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET), developed to improve communication in humanitarian aid response. Some programs, such as an ACDI/VOCA program aimed at increasing sustainability among small farmers, have enhanced agricultural productivity. The Ethiopia Commodities Exchange, profiled in a PBS documentary, aims to improve food access and intranational trade. But while there has been progress, some necessary changes have still not taken root. Some critics charge that the international community has not done enough to prioritize long-term agricultural development, and agricultural productivity is hampered by the lack of private land ownership. In addition, although the ability to transport food aid has improved, access to vulnerable populations is still hampered by road quality and armed conflict. Food Security Today Although a lot has been done to improve food security, millions of people in East Africa are again going hungry as a result of prolonged drought, conflict or a combination of both. FEWS NET rates Somalia, much of Kenya and parts of Ethiopia and Sudan as highly or extremely food insecure. In Somalia, one in five children is suffering from malnutrition and 3.6 million people are in need of aid. (Oxfam) Ethiopia’s government has appealed for nearly 160,000 tons of food aid to feed more than six million needy people. (DPPC) Over 500,000 animals in Kenya are estimated to have died in the drought, at a cost of over $260 million to the local economy. (Oxfam) The price of maize in Uganda in October this year is 171 percent higher than two years ago. (VOA) Climate change seems to be exacerbating the cycle of drought; rains have been insufficient for three years in a row. Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, leading the African delegation to the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, appealed to attendees, “Africa is going to be hit hardest and it’s going to be hit first.” The following video reports provide additional information on the ongoing drought and its effects. ———————– ——————————

Hunger Stalks Ethiopia Once Again

16 December 2009

James Butty

It’s been decades since Ethiopia experienced a major famine. But food shortages remain a familiar reality to millions. The last major famine in Ethiopia took place in 1985-86. At first it affected the northern part of the country, but it eventually spread to parts of the southern highlands. The famine claimed the lives of nearly one million Ethiopians. Almost six million were dependent on food aid – and many remain so today. Twenty-five years later, Ethiopia is in the midst of yet another round of food shortages. The government has appealed for nearly 160,000 tons of food aid to feed more than six million needy people. Lack of rain Ethiopia’s Communications Minister Bereket Simon said insufficient rain is the main cause of the latest food crisis. “The cause for the recent shortage in food in some places is first the normal rain that we get around end of May and June has come late. And then in some places it has withdrawn early. So these are the main reasons,” Simon said. Critics accuse the government of underestimating and under-reporting the extent of the food shortages. Bereket said such finger-pointing lacks merit. “We don’t understand why we should hide anything. That’s simply an allegation. This is a country which has big capability to avoid famine. We’ve had droughts several times, but we have never had famine in 18 years. So this is the capacity that the government has. It has been telling the exact numbers of people facing food shortages. So there is no reason why we hide,” Simon said. Lack of political will Wall Street Journal reporter Roger Thurow co-authored a recent book titled: “Enough – Why the World’s Poor Starve in Age of Plenty.” The author devotes much of his book to Ethiopia. Thurow said more than anything else, the recurrence of food shortages points to a lack of political will on the part of Ethiopia’s leaders and Western donors. “Not only the Ethiopian government, but the Western governments and development agencies, the World Bank, the development agencies of many of the countries in the developed world for their agricultural development assistance for the small farmers of Africa. And in the famine of 2003 one saw this whole manifestation of this neglect, this lack of political will come to bear,” Thurow said. Land tenure Under the government’s land tenure policy, the state owns all land. The Wall Street Journal reporter said the policy discourages initiative and hurts agricultural productivity. “The lack of a private ownership of land hinders the accumulation of wealth by smaller farmers. Using land as collateral to secure loans or to secure credit is really important, and credit is the life blood of small farmers the world over. Outright ownership would also give farmers the confidence to make improvements to their properties,” Thurow said. Not so, said communications minister Bereket Simon. He said the government’s land policy has already benefitted millions of rural Ethiopians. “Drought has nothing to do with government policies. On the contrary our policies enable the farmer to re resilient and they are improving a lot of things because they are the main beneficiaries of the land policy. You know this criticism comes whenever there is a shortage of rain or water,” he said. International donors Bereket expressed gratitude to international donors and aid agencies that provide emergency relief. But he said the amount of food aid delivered has been much less than reported in the media. The British aid agency Oxfam has called for an end to what it calls “knee-jerk” reactions to food crises. It said sending food aid is only a temporary fix and should be coupled with longer-term solutions – a view endorsed by Roger Thurow. “One does need to have kind of an emergency response capability out there. But at the same time, and I think this is what Oxfam is talking about, we need to have the emergency aid goes out, we need to have this longer term view of agricultural development aid and practices that will put, particularly in Africa or Ethiopia, the farmers in better position to keep on producing and hopefully prevent these recurrent hunger crises,” Thurow said. Ethiopia’s communications minister Bereket Simon said his government has actually been taking steps in that regard. He said a review of the past several years demonstrates the effectiveness of its land policy – and said the government will continue to work on areas that need improvement. “In the last 18 years, about 20-25 million people have been added to Ethiopia, and most of these years government and the country itself have been able to feed most of these additional numbers of people. We have a very good agricultural product where we help our 13 million small-scale farmers…and in some places we are showing quite very encouraging results. But in some drought-prone areas we know that we need to do more, and we are committed to that type of agricultural development,” Simon said. Lessons learned Agricultural experts say feeding a population of over 80 million will remain a major challenge for Ethiopia. Author Thurow said both the government and donors should take stock of lessons learned from past food crises as it plans agricultural policies for the future. “One of the lessons to be drawn from past hunger crises in Ethiopia is the crucial importance of the agriculture development aid and creating the conditions for the Ethiopian farmers to have the incentive to produce as much food as possible… so they wouldn’t be in need of food aid to begin with. Those numbers need to be reversed,” Thurow said. The World Food Program said because of lower funding, it will run out of food for more than a million mothers and their children. The U.N. agency said it’s also working to help poor Ethiopians reach a point where they no longer need food assistance. ——————————– 16 December 2009