Aids Toll Now More Than 500 a Day US Pledges More Food Aid

( [email protected] ) Jun 26, 2003 01:23 PM EDT

More than a million metric tons of food aid has now been pledged by the US government to tackle Ethiopia's massive food crisis.
A statement issued by the US embassy in Addis Ababa on Friday announced a further 250,000 mt of food for the drought-stricken country where 12.6 million people are facing starvation.
"The new US contribution will increase the amount of food aid the US government has pledged to Ethiopia since the onset of the crisis in 2002, to over one million metric tons valued at approximately US $475 million," the statement said.
The US has pledged more than half of the entire food needs of the country - some 57 percent of the emergency food aid requirements totalling 878,000 mt for 2003 alone.
The UN's World Food Programme welcomed the funds which, it said, came at a "critical time" to prevent a break in the crucial food pipeline later this year.