Ethiopia Twin Plagues of War and Famine

As civil violence spreads, the food-relief effort slows to a halt

The problems begin at Massawa, the Red Sea port where hundreds of dock workers labor night and day to unload grain and other food destined for Ethiopia's hungry millions. Cranes are in short supply, as are trailers to store the grain. While wheat from the U.S. and Canada usually comes in bags, much of the grain from Europe does not and thus takes longer to unload. Grain sometimes arrives soaked with water; a recent shipment of milk powder was contaminated by oil.

Beyond Massawa, the problems multiply. With truck convoys that deliver the food to regional distribution centers frequently harassed by...

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