Following the withdrawal of government forces from the Tigray region in June 2021, Amhara and Afar regions saw the most fighting, which is in sharp contrast prior to June 2021, when the Amhara region was mainly subjected to the cost of federal troops’ healthcare.
Gizachew Muluneh, the head of the region’s communication bureau, told The Reporter that the region will no longer submit a request for expense compensation in a single sector, citing the region’s earlier request to refund two billion birr in health service expenses.
“It is hard to say the amount; we want to reveal it based on a study. But we will ask for many billions,” Gizachew said.
With the war expanding into its region, the Amhara region ordered all government structures and resources to be directed towards the war.
“Because our region primarily staged the battle, there is a piece that we will cover and a portion that the federal government must cover. We’ll identify that and put in our request,” Gizachew added.
Moreover, damage to numerous sectors and infrastructures, such as the industry zone in Kombolcha town, has already occurred in the region. In November, the region’s Plan and Development Bureau stated that it would take 30 years to recover from the distraction caused by the war. Reports also indicate that the TPLF had caused property damage totaling 279.5 billion birr in areas under its control in Amhara region.
The region has setup a team of 11 sectors and scholars that will conduct researches on the amount of damage that occurred in the region. The team, which will conduct its research on six areas, will also suggest the resources needed to rebuild the damaged institution and infrastructures.
After the research concludes, the region will evaluate its available resources and deficiencies and will start to allocate the needed resource. The region plans to distribute the burden onto the federal government, regions and cities; and plans to seek support from foreign governments and aid agencies, according to Gizachew.
“Officials of the federal government were here with us on the battlefield, they know what they need to do so,” said Gizachew, adding the region will submit its refund request after the research is concluded.
Earlier this week, the minister of finance, Ahmed Shide, in a dialogue held at the Prime Minister Office, announced the government’s plan to request for supplementary budget soon, though he refrained from disclosing the amount. The decision is the outcome of the surge in government deficit caused by the war in Northern Part of Ethiopia.
For this fiscal year, the parliament approved 561 billion Br budget. A large chunk of the budget (200 billion Br) has been allotted to subsidize regional states. Capital spending is the second highest expenditure item, reaching 183.5 billion Br, 20 billion Br higher than the recurrent expenditure.