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Ethiopia warns of 'major crisis' over refugees food aid

Ethiopia's 730,000 refugees could go hungry if 55 million US dollars (£36.5 million) in food aid is not raised by the end of the year, an official has warned.

Ayalew Awoke, deputy director of refugee affairs, said a 20 million US dollars (£13.3 million) donation by the US will be used up by the end of December and he warned of "a major crisis" unless aid comes in.

Ethiopia, which currently hosts Africa's largest refugee population, is experiencing a major drought in its eastern and north-eastern areas and has appealed for 596 million US dollars (£395 million) to feed its own population.

Dennis Weller, Usaid director in Ethiopia, said in October that South Sudan's conflict is exacerbating Ethiopia's food insecurity. Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese have fled to Ethiopia and live alongside local communities.

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