USAID and the UN have announced they are halting assistance to the African country despite an ongoing conflict and drought
Ethiopia has hit out at the US and the United Nations after their decision to halt food assistance to the African nation over accusations of “widespread and coordinated” theft. Washington’s international aid agency, USAID, announced last week that it was suspending food aid to Ethiopia, and the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) later followed suit.
WFP Executive Director Cindy Hensley McCain announced on Friday that the organization would “temporarily halt food aid assistance in Ethiopia,” but added that “nutritional assistance to children, pregnant and lactating women, school meal programs and activities to strengthen farmers and herders” would continue “uninterrupted.”
During a press conference on Saturday, Ethiopian government spokesman Legesse Tulu branded the decision “political” and insisted that the suspension of food aid “punishes millions of people.”
Talking to RT, news anchor Bisrat Melese said around 20 million Ethiopians are dependent on food assistance from foreign organizations, and accused the West of using aid as a political tool.
According to Melese, the decisions by the US and WFP will only “exacerbate the situation” in Ethiopia, which is suffering from a civil conflict and the worst drought in several decades.
Melese insisted that the West is “weaponizing aid” to “attack the Ethiopian government” and to push its own foreign policy agenda.