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Urgent Appeal: Stop IMF Aid to Ethiopian Government

Dr Kristalina Georgieva
Managing Director
International Monitory Fund (IMF)
700 19th St. NW 20431 Washington, D.C.

March 25, 2024

Dear Dr. Georgieva,

We, the undersigned civil society organizations of Ethiopians in diaspora, write this letter to urgently call upon the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reconsider its plan to offer financial aid to the Ethiopian government. While seeking external assistance, the Ethiopian government is disproportionately allocating resources to acquire weaponry, including drones, which have been used to target civilians. Reports from credible sources such as the United States State Department, Amnesty International, Bloomberg, Reuters, and the Economist Magazine have documented atrocities committed by forces loyal to Abiy Ahmed in Marawi, the Amhara region, and in Oromia. Extrajudicial killings by a covert group called “Kore Negegna,” established and commanded by Abiy Ahmed’s inner circle, further exacerbate the situation.

The Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) is employing drones, heavy weaponry, and starvation, tactics, resulting in significant loss of life and a humanitarian crisis in multiple regions. Deadly drone attacks in civilian areas have led to thousands of deaths and the displacement of millions, compounding the plight of over 20 million Ethiopians in need of food aid.

A recent statement from the US State Department highlights concerns about “indiscriminate drone strikes, arbitrary detentions, restrictions on press freedom, and internet shutdowns” in Ethiopia. Despite these concerns, the Ethiopian government is allocating billions to vanity projects, such as a reported multi-billion-dollar new palace, disregarding the worsening economic conditions faced by the Ethiopian people.

We trust that the IMF recognizes that Ethiopia’s economic challenges are intertwined with political instability, rampant corruption within the ruling party and military, and severe economic mismanagement. These factors have led to declining export earnings, decreased agricultural and manufacturing activities, and chronic inflation. Providing financial assistance to the Ethiopian government currently, even with stringent oversight, risks further misuse, enabling the government to fund military operations to suppress dissent rather than addressing underlying political issues. While we support humanitarian aid, such as food and medicine, providing other forms of financial assistance to the Abiy Ahmed government will only exacerbate the current political and security crisis. Therefore, we urge the IMF to reconsider any decision to extend financial assistance to the Ethiopian government and instead, make aid to be contingent upon the government ceasing warfare, halting attacks on civilians, and taking concrete and measured steps towards resolving the crisis politically.

 

Sincerely,

 

Signatory Organizations:

• American Ethiopian Public Affairs Committee (AEPAC)

• Ethio-Canadian Network for Advocacy and Support (ECNAS)

• Ethiopian American Development Council (EADC)

• Ethiopian American Civil Council (EACC)

• EPDM

• Foundation for Human Rights and Development in Ethiopia (FHRDE)

• Global Ethiopian Scholars Initiative (GESI)

• Global Amhara Coalition (GAC)

• Hope for Ethiopia (H4E) New York Tristate’

• Network of Ethiopian Scholars (NES)

• Worldwide Ethiopian Civic Associations Network (WE-CAN)

*END*

1 thought on “Urgent Appeal: Stop IMF Aid to Ethiopian Government”

  1. Dear Editor:-

    In the list above I see a perfect reflection of the splintered political party grouping in Ethiopia itself where people group into political parties, not on the basis of what hey want to do for the people but on the basis of advancing a small group objective which has proved, for years, to have no chance at all to be realized. On the other hand, even these tiny and hopeless political parties, which number over 60 today, can claim some tiny financial support from the National Election Board of Ethiopia so that for such presumably unemployed people even that small support is an income.

    The fact that meaningful and successful political systems today have only three or four effectively competing political parties is either ignored, or unknown, or our small political groups may not even have a political program at all, other than advancing narrow self interest. The principal players in all this theatrical show at home and abroad are those that went through some school.

    A parallel picture appears to prevail with the many groups listed above. May be, forming small groups under the pretext of helping Ethiopians in distress at home is a source of income for many unemployed and unskilled in the Diaspora as well. If they were serious about helping those Ethiopians suffering under all forms of conditions in Ethiopia, there would be no need for so many groups unless self interest is the primary driver. All in all, I see these splintered groups as a clear indication of our most elite’s prioritization of self interest and lack of capacity to work together even on a national agenda, and that is, indeed, very sad since it will perpetuate our national backwardness and misery.

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