Monday, May 16, 2016

Drought, Then Floods Hit Ethiopia's Economy

(May 16, 2016,  (VOA))--Floods in Ethiopia, which come on the heels of the worst drought in 50 years, have already claimed the lives of dozens of people and displaced thousands more. The economic toll will also be particularly severe because three-quarters of Ethiopia's population lives off the land.

The country’s economy is expected to significantly slow down in 2016, according to the IMF's World Economic Outlook forecast. The drought, plus a decline in commodity prices, has resulted in a 4.5 percent GDP growth estimate. The figure, while above the Sub-Saharan Africa average, is a steep decline from nearly a decade of near double-digit growth in Ethiopia.

Loss of livestock, crops and households
Aid organizations anticipate continued flooding will displace about 200,000 people and affect the lives of 485,000 people.

"People can be affected in different ways. They can have damaged crops, they can lose their livestock, and in the more extreme cases lose their entire households and go quite really destitute," said Paul Handley, with the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)’s in Ethiopia.

Roba Korji is a farmer in the central Gurage region. When the rains failed in previous planting seasons, Korji and his neighbors took out loans to build irrigation channels along a small nearby river to irrigate vegetables. Recent torrential rains and subsequent floods washed away their produce, leaving them with $18,000 in unpaid loans. Read more from Voice of America »

No comments:

Post a Comment