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December 28, 1984 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-12-28

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16 Friday, December 28, 1984 THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Continued from preceding page

veteran at viewing the horrors
of mass starvation, his impres-
sions were raw, his descriptions
vivid:
"There are rows and rows of
people... tens of thousands of
them...mostly mothers and
children just lined up in the dirt.
The children just sit there. Po-
litely. Flies cover them. Occa-
sionally a kid cries... Stretchers
of the 'living dead' are spread
outside the hospital tent. The
hospital has given them up for
dead. They're left there, waiting
to die, with their feet and hands
still twitching..."
Some camps have been sup-
plied with gigantic tents sent by
the East Germans. But not all
the tens of thousands in Korem,
Batti, Mali or the other large
camps can be sheltered in the
tents, which house 1,400 people
each. Korem, alone, has 40,000
people. Some people huddle in
dugouts in the earth. Authori-
ties try to shelter the sick; the
so-called "healthy people" —
they are just starving to death
— must often live in the open.
There is only 1 doctor per 15,000
people, despite the fact that dis-
ease is rampant.
"It would look like a set for a
disaster movie," Ackerman
said, "except for the smell;
that's indescribable."
About 7.7 million of Ethio-
pia's estimated 42 million peo-
ple are being directly affected by
the famine. Relief agencies pro-
ject that as many as 900,000
people may have died from star-
vation by the end of the month,
even if all of the relief pledged
thus far arrives on schedule.
There are conflicting reports
over the amount of food that has
arrived and been unloaded and
distributed, but diplomats and
relief workers we interviewed
from the Catholic Relief Service
and Save the Children said that
all available supplies had been
unloaded there and that there is
a "vacuum" of pledged aid ar-
riving now. About 100,000 tons
of food are expected to be deliv-
ered in each of the next two
months. The "food deficit" is at
crisis point until mid-January
they said.
President Reagan's recent
pledge of an additional 100,000
metric tons of grain for drought-
ridden Africa, including Ethio-
pia, will take time to deliver,
perhaps as much as three months,
even though there have been
some diversions of grain ships
enroute elsewhere.
The U.S. Congress will not be
constituted to appropriate fur-
ther disaster relief funds before,
at the earliest, the third week of
January, and that projection
presupposes giving Ethiopian

Religious News Service

Famine victims in Mekele, Ethiopia wait stoically outside
a relief center. Seven million Ethiopians are
affected by drought and famine.

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