Photo Gallery Drought in Ethiopia

The worst drought in half a century has stricken large parts of Africa -- a consequence of El Niño and high population growth. More than 50 million people are threatened by hunger and few countries have been hit as hard as Ethiopia.
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An Ethiopian man guides a plow behind his two oxen. The people in the northeastern part of the country are suffering the consequences of a catastrophic drought.

Foto: Jens Grossmann / Welthungerhilfe
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Herder Ighale Utban has lost the basis of his livelihood through the drought. "The rain helps, but it is coming too late and it won't bring my animals back," the 36-year-old says.

Foto: Jens Grossmann / Welthungerhilfe
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The soil in the Afar region is totally dry and hard as cement. The state of emergency here has become the normal state of affairs.

Foto: Jens Grossmann / Welthungerhilfe
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"This is a forgotten crisis because it is happening far away from us and doesn't threaten us in a direct way like the refugee crisis," says Till Wahnbaeck, secretary general of Welthungerhilfe, also known as German Agro Aid.

Foto: Welthungerhilfe
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For years in Ethiopia, there has been one drought and season of lost crops after the other. The country no longer has any chance to recover between crises.

Foto: Jens Grossmann / Welthungerhilfe
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School children in Afar: One out of four children in Ethiopia suffers from malnutrition.

Foto: Jens Grossmann / Welthungerhilfe
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The United Nations estimates that 20 million people, or one-fifth of the country's population of 102 million, are threatened by hunger caused by periodic droughts that have plagued Ethiopia for eight years now.

Foto: Jens Grossmann / Welthungerhilfe
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Given the current rain, farmers in the lowlands will be able to plant corn and millet. They will likely yield better crops than in the past year, too. Belg, the short rainy period, never materialized last year. The planting of the main food grains teff and wheat in June and July will also be decisive. If kiremt, the main rainy season fails to come as it did last year, then the shortage in food supplies could further escalate.

Foto: Jens Grossmann / Welthungerhilfe
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In the deserts and semi-deserts of Afar, some 440,000 goats and sheep, 105,000 cattle, 15,000 camels and 4,500 donkeys have perished in the drought so far.

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Meat and milk are the main staples for nomads in the region, and now these food supplies are in short supply. They also lack the pack animals who assist them in their nomadic existence.

Foto: Jens Grossmann / Welthungerhilfe
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