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Airlift Brings Food and Supplies to Flood-Stricken Ethiopia


In Ethiopia, the International Rescue Committee has airlifted emergency supplies to the Gode region, following recent flooding by the Shabelle River.

David Murphy is the country director in Ethiopia for the International Rescue Committee. From Addis Ababa, he spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about the emergency airlift.

“Over the weekend, the IRC, International Rescue Committee, in a joint humanitarian endeavor with the US military, was able to fly in 46 metric tons of food and 36 metric tons of non food items to the flood affected populations in the Somali region of Ethiopia,” he says.

The non-food items included plastic sheeting, blankets, jerry cans for water and cooking pots. The non-food items are expected to help about 3,000 families and the food supplies are expected to last about three weeks. A second airlift is being planned for the weekend to supply more non food items.

The situation is expected to get worse before it gets better. Murphy says, “The situation is still very serious. It is continuing to rain in the area and the ground is already very soaked with water. And we are expected continued rain and hence continued flooding for the next several weeks…and so we are not letting up on humanitarian aid and in fact we’re looking to try and increase it over the coming weeks.”

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