Up to a million people are reported to be starving n the Wollo region in the north east of Ethiopia.
GV: Helicopter approaching Wollo.
GV PAN FROM: Villagers TO helicopter landing.
SV: Villagers walk forward and greet pilot.
SV: Medical supplies being unloaded from helicopter.
SV: Red Cross worker taking blood samples.
CU: Sign 'Clinic'.
CU: Father holding child suffering from malnutrition.
CU: Child having eye examination.
CU & PAN OF: Lady covered in white spots.
CU: Emaciated men waiting for treatment. (3 SHOTS)
CU: Child and mother waiting for treatment. (3 SHOTS)
CU: Children covered in flies. (2 SHOTS)
CU: Man and woman.
SV PAN: Child receiving saline drip. (2 SHOTS)
CU: Child with bloated stomach.
GV: Children walking with Red Cross worker.
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Background: Up to a million people are reported to be starving n the Wollo region in the north east of Ethiopia. In 1972 and 1973 about 200,000 people died of starvation in the area. This Visnews library film shows conditions at that time.
SYNOPSIS: It was the drought of 1972 and 1973 in which so many people died that escalated into the crisis which brought about the downfall of Emperor Haile Selassie. Radio Addis Ababa monitored in London said that the present situation in Wollo had ben aggravated by "bandits" of the Ethiopian Democratic Union, who were "among the chief enemies of the peasants and had destroyed health centres and schools in the area". The Ethiopian government says that the EDU includes supporters of the former Emperor.
In August last year, United Nations officials were reporting that Ethiopia, which was then fighting Somali insurgents in the South and Eritrean separatists in the North-East, was facing a serious food shortage. In November the same year, the country was given permission to use the Kenyan port of Mombassa to secure vital supplies.
Addis Ababa radio said a Relief Committee had to set up numerous distribution centres and was supplying the starving people with food, vitamins and clothes. One of the problems, which has already killed 47 people and put many more in hospital, is poisoning caused by eating bread made from diseased rye flour. Meanwhile, in Brussels, common Market Development Aid Commissioner Claude Cheysson, who recently visited the country, said that agricultural production in Ethiopia had increased considerably since the agrarian revolution was launched in 1974.