US to resume food aid deliveries to Ethiopia


The said it is going to resume delivering food aid for people in next month after the government allowed monitoring the distribution.

The earlier this year as Washington said the deliveries were being stolen and were not reaching the intended recipients. Last month, it began distributing food packages but only to refugees in the country.

Food deliveries will restart next month for an initial trial period of one year, during which the US Agency for International Development (USAID) said it would will ascertain whether the government keeps its promises.

In June, alleging a “widespread and coordinated” campaign to divert donations.  The UN and the World Food Programme took similar steps, citing the same reasons.

The US has not named any individuals behind the diversions but aid organizations have accused both the federal and regional authorities, with soldiers benefitting from resale of donated food.

Ethiopia’s government engaged in a major internal conflict between 2020 and 2022 causing major food shortages not just in the most severely affected Tigray region, but elsewhere too, and putting strains on its military. 

What would change in Ethiopia?

USAID in a statement said that after significant diplomatic engagement over the last several months resulted in “widespread and substantial reforms of the food assistance structure by the government of Ethiopia and our humanitarian partners.”

The World Food Programme also resumed some deliveries to Ethiopia last month.

Ethiopia has agreed to change how its government will operate alongside aid organizations and intends to improve the partners’ ability to identify beneficiaries, USAID said.

It also committed to providing seamless access for the agency and third-party monitors to review sites throughout the country.

“USAID places the highest priority on taking every possible measure to make sure that US humanitarian assistance is used for its intended purpose, reaches the most vulnerable, and ultimately saves lives,” USAID statement said.

mfi/msh (Reuters, AFP)

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