Religious relief and aid organizations warned this week that Ethiopia is again on the brink of famine, and called for greater funding for and attention to the African country and its neighbors.
"More people are affected by this food shortage than in 1984, when 1 million lives were lost," said Ken Hackett, executive director of Catholic Relief Services, based in Baltimore, who appeared at a news conference Tuesday with executives of Lutheran World Relief and Africare.
On the same day, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced plans to help the East African nation by providing special food supplies for its malnourished residents.
A church-chartered plane delivered 40 tons of a porridge mixture that will help the malnourished who are able to eat only easily digestible foods. More shipments will follow.
The previous season's lack of rain has prevented irrigation of crops in Ethiopia and prompted the loss of many farmers' harvests. The natural factors have been exacerbated by the HIV-AIDS epidemic that has struck the continent.
Here is contact information for contributions to the hunger crisis:
Catholic Relief Services
Africa Hunger Crisis
P.O. Box 17090
Baltimore, MD 21203-7090
Lutheran World Relief
Africa Food Crisis
P.O. Box 17061
Baltimore, MD 21298-9832
440 R St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001-1935