January 31, 2024
Dear Inspector General of FAO,
We hope this email finds you well. We are writing to you on behalf of deeply concerned Ethiopians around the glob regarding the recent decision by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to award Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed *the prestigious UN FAO’s Agricola Medal at the time food security in Ethiopia is a critical deficit and starvation is unfolding .
In recent months, disturbing revelations have come to light regarding an orchestrated scam that has siphoned off food aid intended for vulnerable people , including children and the elderly, in Ethiopia.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has uncovered evidence indicating that this illicit activity has resulted in the diversion of essential food supplies to neighboring countries, leaving thousands of Ethiopians without access to the sustenance they desperately need.
As a consequence of this theft, USAID has been compelled to suspend food distribution operations for more than five months. Regrettably, reports from regional governments have confirmed the tragic loss of over 2000 lives due to starvation. Despite these dire circumstances, the Abiy administration has brazenly denied the existence of widespread hunger and famine within the country.
Furthermore, we are deeply troubled by the fact that the Abiy government is leveraging the FAO award as purported evidence that there is no hunger crisis in Ethiopia. Such assertions not only disregard the suffering of millions of Ethiopians but also serve to obstruct efforts to address the urgent humanitarian needs of the population.
Given the gravity of the situation and the profound implications of FAO’s decision, we respectfully demand a thorough explanation for the rationale behind the awarding of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali with such prestigious accolade . It is imperative that FAO provide transparency regarding its selection process and clarify how the recipient’s actions, particularly in relation to the misappropriation of food aid and denial of widespread hunger, align with the organization’s principles and objectives and the merits of the Medal.
The integrity and credibility of FAO as a United Nations agency entrusted with safeguarding global food security are at stake. Failure to address these concerns promptly and comprehensively will only serve to perpetuate misinformation, impede vital food distribution efforts, and prolong the suffering of those in need.
We eagerly await your response and stand ready to engage in constructive dialogue to ensure accountability and transparency in this matter.
The Executive Group of A.E.E.
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Association of Ethiopians in Europe