US suspends food aid to Ethiopia

2023-06-08 17:40:02

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) says it has suspended food aid shipments to Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country, after an internal investigation he found that provisions intended for the most needy people were distributed in a “widespread” manner. He did not say who the dealer was.

“Following a nationwide investigation, USAID determined, in coordination with the Ethiopian government, that a comprehensive and coordinated campaign is diverting food assistance intended for the people of Ethiopia,” the agency said in a statement sent to The Associated Press by email Thursday.

“That’s why we made the difficult but necessary decision not to go ahead with the distribution of food aid until reforms are implemented.”

The United States is the largest single donor to Ethiopia, with $1.8 billion in humanitarian aid, including food aid, in fiscal year 2022. Some 20 million people in Ethiopia are dependent on aid due to conflict and drought, a total population of 120 million.

An internal memo prepared by a group of humanitarian donors seen by the AP highlighted the involvement of the Ethiopian federal government in the diversion of aid.

“The plan is apparently orchestrated by federal and regional entities of the Ethiopian government; military units throughout the country benefit from humanitarian aid,” says the document from the group, which includes bilateral and multilateral partners.

Ethiopian government spokesmen did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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