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Ethiopia: History & Cultures
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The Politics

Elections 2000
Representing Addis Ababa city dwellers, Engineer Zewdu Teklu, a former Addis mayor 1970-84, spoke of the alarming deterioration of Addis Ababa. Engineer Zewdu said, "We are talking about a city that does not really exist," because, according to international, or even less, African city standards, "over 80 percent of Addis should be demolished." In this city, that "has emerged out of dust and corrugated roofs," only 8.5 percent of houses have flush toilets, 30 percent are without toilets, and 85 percent have no kitchen. He said the city's only positive aspect was its low crime rate.

Unfortunately, most of the Ethiopian politics are not local. The national issues are hot. One of them is the war with Eritrea. But all of it because of the poverty.

Do you want to help?

Millions Can Go Online this Holiday Season to Feed the World's Hungry

NEW YORK, Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- This holiday season, Internet users can help feed millions of hungry people around the world with the simple click of a mouse, and all without spending a penny.

The "Hunger Site," (, an independent web site created last June by Indiana software programmer John Breen, links net users and the corporate world to benefit the world's hungry. By clicking on the site's "Donate Free Food" button, web surfers can donate a serving of rice, wheat or corn to a hungry person somewhere in the world, at no expense to themselves. Corporate sponsors pick up the tab for the meal in exchange for free advertisement on the site. The site allows surfers to make one donation per day.

Since it began, the Hunger Site has grown in popularity, with over 350,000 people clicking to donate each day, an average of one million cups of food daily. The site has gained the attention of concerned web users from around the globe, with millions of people donating food from Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa, logging on to donate food with a click.

"We don't know how many Americans will tap into the site during the holiday season, but we hope that millions more will take a brief moment from the festivities to go online and donate food," said Breen. "With one click of the mouse, people can provide real assistance to the truly needy."

All donations generated by the Hunger Site are given to the United Nation's World Food Programme. "A click on the Hunger Site breaks down old barriers by bringing together corporations and individuals to help feed the world's 800 million hungry poor," said Tun Myat, WFP Director, Resources and External Relations Division. "We are grateful to the millions of people and many corporate sponsors who have already donated food via the site."

To date, WFP has received over $200,000 which has gone towards the purchase and distribution of food to needy school children living in countries such as Ethiopia and Haiti.

Although the largest emergency food aid agency in the world, WFP also manages school-feeding projects in over 25 developing countries that provide free food to students. The meals not only relieve hunger but also improve attendance and concentration in class.

Visitors to the site are met by a world map. Every 3.6 seconds, a country somewhere on the map flashes black, signifying that a person has died of hunger. Approximately 24,000 people die every day from hunger or hunger-related causes, and 75 percent of these deaths are children. The site also contains extensive educational material on hunger, related aid organisations and WFP.

The Hunger Site collects no proceeds from donations, which go directly to WFP. Breen chose the UN food agency as the recipient of the contributions based on WFP's efficient operations, its broad reach and its low annual administrative overhead costs in 1999 of 8.1 percent, one of the lowest of any UN agency or private charity.

"The sole purpose of the Hunger Site is to fight world hunger by using the Internet as a tool to mobilise and educate millions of people," added Breen. The World Food Programme is the United Nations' front-line agency in the fight against global hunger. Last year its aid workers fed 75 million people, including most of the world's refugees. Headquartered in Rome, Italy, WFP operates in 80 countries.

Visitors to the Hunger Site are encouraged to make the site their homepage or to "bookmark" it so they can make a free daily donation.

-- For more information about the Hunger site click onto:

-- For more information about the World Food Program click onto:

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