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U.S. Urged to Restore Funds to Its Budget to Help Victims of a Drought in Ethiopia

The American Jewish Committee has urged the Reagan Administration to restore to its proposed 1984 budget funds to alleviate the growing food crisis in Ethiopia due to a drought. The AJC said it had a special concern for the estimated 23,000 Jews in that country. Most of them live in the Gondar and Tigray provinces, the area most severely affected by the current drought.

Howard Friedman, AJCommittee president, in a letter delivered to Secretary of State George Shultz, expressed concern that the PL-480 Title II Program in Ethiopia had been eliminated from next year’s budget, and called on the Administration to reinstate it “at present funding levels.” The program provides vital food supplies and necessary relief.

He also recommended that the Administration “give full and favorable attention to the emergency requests from the United Nations Disaster Relief Organization” in regard to the Ethiopian situation. “The growing food crisis in Ethiopia resulting from the severe drought there now raises the prospect of starvation for hundreds of thousands of people in that country, ” Friedman wrote.

Failure to reinstate the PL-480 Title II Program in Ethiopia, “we believe, will do damage both to the United States records of assistance and to the efforts being made to prevent potential starvation,” Friedman stated.