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UN agency suspends food aid to Ethiopia’s Tigray amid theft

FILE – A worker walks next to a pile of sacks of food earmarked for the Tigray and Afar regions in a warehouse of the World Food Programme (WFP) in Semera, the regional capital for the Afar region, in Semera, Ethiopia, Feb. 21, 2022. The United Nations food relief agency has suspended aid deliveries to Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region amid an internal investigation into the theft of food meant for hungry people, according to four humanitarian workers. (AP Photo, File)

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The United Nations food relief agency has suspended aid deliveries to Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region amid an internal investigation into the theft of food meant for hungry people, according to four humanitarian workers.

The World Food Program is responsible for delivering food from the U.N. and other partners to Tigray, the center of a devastating two-year civil war that ended with a ceasefire in November.

More than 5 million of the region’s 6 million people rely on aid.

WFP informed its humanitarian partners on April 20 that it was temporarily suspending deliveries of food to Tigray amid reports of food misappropriation, one of the four humanitarian workers told AP. Three other aid workers confirmed this information. They all insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to a journalist on this matter.

Last month, AP reported that the WFP was investigating cases of food misappropriation and diversion in Ethiopia, where a total of 20 million people need humanitarian help due to drought and conflict.

A letter sent by the WFP’s Ethiopia director on April 5 asked humanitarian partners to share “any information or cases of food misuse, misappropriation or diversion that you are aware of or that are brought to your attention by your staff, beneficiaries or local authorities.”

At the time, two aid workers told AP that the stolen supplies included enough food to feed 100,000 people. The food was discovered missing from a warehouse in the Tigray city of Sheraro. It was not clear who was responsible for the theft.

Tigray’s new interim president, Getachew Reda, said last month he discussed “the growing challenge of diversion & sale of food aid meant for the needy” with senior WFP officials during a visit by the agency to Mekele, the regional capital.

A spokesperson for the WFP in Ethiopia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


1 thought on “UN agency suspends food aid to Ethiopia’s Tigray amid theft”

  1. Ittu Aba Farda

    If stealing from starving people and denying them the means to save their lives does not qualify for crimes against humanity, what will? I have said this before and am gonna say it again. Those who commit such savage crime are always those commies and their by-products. Just look at those former so-called ‘freedom fighter’ commies in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. They used to deafen us with ‘Down with imperialism’ this and ‘Workers of the world unite’ in the 1960’s and 70’s but now they have shed their commie skins and are at the front of spewing around poison of bigotry and supremacism. Some of them are applying their craft from those decades to their new ‘ideology’ of ‘neo-conservatism’. Some in Europe even have the ‘courage’ to declare themselves Neo-Nazis. In our case they now can’t get enough of blowing their dragon breaths with ‘Orommuuma’, ‘Neo-Gobena’ this and ‘Neftegna’ that. Some of them and their clones commit crimes against humanity like this. I have also pleaded the following to our well read and genuinely patriots on more than one occasion in the past. Those who are students of letters and philosophy should come up with a well laid out game plan by which every verse in this satanic philosophy of Marxism/Leninism/Maoism would discounted and laid bare with its corrupt theories. Then they should show case by case how it created an atmosphere(school of thought) that has sent the old country in cycles of chaos and bloody conflicts. It should be shown case by case how it wiped out all spirit of brotherly/sisterly love from among historically harmonious people. It should be shown with cases by cases how it drives itself into dividing the country solely into enemies. In their sick mind, Oromos are/have always been the scourge of Amharas. In their twisted mindset, Amharas have never been on a good side of Oromos. I am not making this up. Just take any one of these bigots among us and talk them that talk after cajoling with him. He will tell you that without any benefit of the doubt.
    So dear patriotic philosophers from the old country. Assume you are on a sacred and nation saving mission for that gem of the colored. You need to use you untapped dexterity in the science of philosophy to discredit this demonic philosophy verse be verse. This does not mean attacking those individuals who are still latching on this deadly school of thought but strictly the ideology itself. Your targeted market should be the youth. Once this group of young people are inoculated with your protective vaccine that means the total defeat of these satanic sermons. I’m gonna nag you about this until my last day on this good earth. And I don’t have that much a scoop left on the hopper for me.

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