CONNECTICUT - A southwestern Connecticut man is back from Ethiopia after traveling to the African nation to get a first-hand look at the food crisis there.

Charlie MacCormack, the chief executive of Save the Children, says an estimated 12 million to 15 million people in Ethiopia are hungry or malnourished. In a weeklong trip to the country, MacCormack says he saw sights of starvation and struggle.

?They are carrying their children who are listless, eyes are glazed, who might [die] within hours if they don't reach these Save the Children centers,? he says of the parents desperately looking to nourish their children.

The Save the Children centers provide food, health care and education for children in dire need.

?It's heart wrenching,? MacCormack says. ?What you'll see is hundreds of parents who have walked hours and hours - sometimes days - to our therapeutic feeding center, which is where children come who are basically dying of starvation.?

He blames the shortage in part on the uncertainty of Mother Nature.

?If the rain comes at the right time, in the right amount, everyone is fine,? he says. ?But if there is any failure, that immediately turns into starvation.?

MacCormack says that in the next five years his organization will have to work even harder to counter the effects of increases in food prices.