Ethiopia 1985

International Operation Name: not applicable

International Operation Dates:  not applicable

Mandating Organization: Government of Canada

Region Name:  Africa

Location:  Ethiopia

Canadian Operation Name: (Ethiopia 1985)

Canadian Operation Dates: 1985/02/16 – 1985/02/28

Mission Mandate:

To provide medical personnel and supplies to Ethiopia

Mission Notes:

Ethiopia faced a humanitarian disaster in 1984 when drought threatened the region’s grain harvest. Indeed, by mid-summer aid agencies were warning that as many as six million people faced the prospect of starvation.

Western governments were nevertheless reluctant to help the Ethiopian regime for fear that the provision of food aid would allow it to continue to purchase weapons to carry on the fight against insurgents in Eritrea and Tigre. However, as the crisis in Ethiopia became more widely and popularly known, a process helped by a series of Live Aid concerts, western governments finally began to assist even when it was clear that Ethiopia was diverting aid and supplies away from its intended recipients.

At the request of the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Canadian Forces dispatched a twenty person medical team and thirty tons of relief supplies to Ethiopia on 16 February 1985. [It is not known when the team returned to Canada.]


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