The Ethiopian prime minister, Meles Zenawi, visited London recently with a high level delegation to hold talks with Prime Minister Tony Blair and some of his top ministers. Blair assured Zenawi that Britain would continue supporting Ethiopia with humanitarian assistance, as well as putting in place a substantial programme for long-term development.
Zenawi also visited the House of Commons where he briefed the MPs about the drought situation in Ethiopia and what his government was doing to alleviate the suffering of the people.
Last December, Ethiopia launched an emergency appeal, in conjunction with the United Nations, for humanitarian assistance for people affected by the drought. According to the government, the 2002 harvest was 25% down on the previous year's and that acute water shortage had already wiped out much of the livestock.