Executives of the UN World Food Programme have visited Ethiopia to assess the damage of the drought first hand, subsequently announcing that it is in need of immediate aid to help manage the effects of the drought. Unfortunately, the UN did not have the monetary resources to provide the quantity of aid required, forcing them to plead other countries to pitch in and help.
This crisis highlights the importance of international awareness of drought-caused famine and outlines the need for more privileged countries to provide aid. The United States, Canada, and several European nations, as a part of the UN, have provided or will provide resources to Ethiopia and its people to alleviate the effects of the drought.
This is not the first time Ethiopia has experienced drought. The El Niño conditions in 2002 caused a similar situation to the farmers of Ethiopia, inhibiting their ability to grow crops. The required aid did not arrive in Ethiopia until Early 2003, dramatically increasing the rate of acute malnutrition. The UN has assessed what occurred in 2002 and 2003 and has established a plan so that Ethiopia will receive the aid they need promptly by way of private donations.