Ethiopia and Famine; most people that followed news coverage in the 1980's have seen the plight of nearly 8 million Ethiopians and Africans due to Famine, the "We are The World" & "Do they know its Christmas" songs by many artists to raise awareness were successful in getting the word out and help in most cases.
Unfortunately a segment of the Western public audience came away with associating all of Ethiopia and Africa to Famine & Starvation. Although Famine (Famine =
A drastic, wide-reaching food shortage) is not yet eradicated from Africa or Ethiopia, there is more to Ethiopia other than famine, similar to any large diverse country.
Most of us have heard the many school yard jokes about Ethiopia & Ethiopians in the 80's although children are young and don't mean any harm by this, some as they matured were subconsciously shaped by their heavy association of Famine and Ethiopia. For an example most had concluded there was no tasty local cuisine in the country. For a while asking friends to go to an Ethiopian Restaurant used to raise eye brows and bring back some of the old jokes.
The reality is the country has a diverse climate region which in some places has put people in Famine's harm way but at the same time has created a diverse people with an equally unique cuisine dishes.
Today some areas still continue to experience Famine due to dependency of farmers on rain for their subsistence. The government and aid agencies are working to help in the short run and also address the long term solutions such as setting up large scale irrigation systems and better informing locals on farming techniques.
Time moves slow when faced with hardship and for many the solutions are not coming soon enough, if you are interested in following up on current news, activities or want to see if you can help check the following links & organizations.
www.wfp.org - World Food Program of the UN
Ethiopian Government News Agency
www.fao.org - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN