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El Niño Strikes Ethiopia

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Ethiopia is suffering its worst drought in more than a decade, a condition exacerbated by El Niño, the water-warming phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean that has affected weather patterns and reduced rainfall levels across a large chunk of Africa, hitting Ethiopia particularly hard.

More than 80 percent of Ethiopians depend on agriculture to make a living, but this year their crops have withered. The government says that 8.2 million people are in need of immediate food assistance and that, by next year, 15 million may face starvation if they don’t get help. The crisis in Ethiopia could be a harbinger of more weather-related disasters if climate change makes El Niño more frequent.