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Words in the News
Monday 11 November 2002
Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

Ethiopia famine warning
Summary: Ethiopia faces a famine much more severe than that in the 1980s, its prime minister has warned. He said that if the situation was a nightmare last time, it is now too horrible to think about. This report from Martin Plaut.
The News Listen  
  The scale of the current Ethiopian drought is much larger than the 1980s. Millions are now at risk, many living in the most inaccessible areas of this remote region. It is also made much worse by AIDS, which has infected over three million people. Weakened, they have already sold off many of their possessions. It's also eroded their ability to farm, even when times are good. But some lessons have been learned from previous disasters. An early warning system is in place, giving donors time to respond.

Some aid has already been promised, and more is on the way. And the Ethiopian government itself has been planning, building up its stocks, and distributing food aid in the villages where it's most needed. If this can be maintained the giant camps of the destitute can be avoided. This is vital to prevent cholera and diarrhoea. With a massive international effort the scale of the deaths can be reduced, but they cannot be avoided altogether.

Martin Plaut, BBC, London

The Words Listen
number or extent

very difficult to reach

people who are weakened have lost some of their physical strength

gradually destroyed or removed

  lessons have been learned
people have gained experience

  early warning system
a system that give a warning at the earliest possible moment that something bad is going to happen

people, organisations and governments that give money, food and other aid

  building up its stocks
gradually increasing its supplies

  food aid
food given for people in need

  If this can be maintained
here, if they can continue to do this at the same level without stopping

  Read more about this story  

Other Words in the News archives


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