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USAID Pauses Food Assistance to Ethiopia’s Tigray Region

May 4, 2023

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced Wednesday the temporary suspension of its food assistance to the Tigray region of Ethiopia.

While describing the move as a “difficult decision,” USAID Administrator Samantha Power said the agency recently discovered that food aid intended for people of the region, who are suffering under famine-like condition, was being diverted and sold on the local market.

The agency referred the matter to its Office of the Inspector General, which launched an investigation and sent leaders from its Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance to Ethiopia before deciding on a temporary pause in food aid, she said.

Power said the U.S. government has raised its concerns with officials from the Ethiopian federal government and the Tigray Interim Regional Administration, and that the officials have expressed willingness to work with the U.S. to identify and hold those responsible accountable.

She said USAID “stands ready” to restart the program once strong oversight measures are in place, and it has confidence that assistance will reach the intended vulnerable populations.

A two-year war that broke out in November 2020 between the federal government and forces led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the party that dominates the region, killed tens of thousands of people, created famine-like conditions for hundreds of thousands and displaced millions.

The government and Tigray forces agreed to end the hostilities in November, which has allowed additional aid to reach the region and for some services to be restored.

Power said the pause has dealt another blow to already suffering civilians and reiterated the United States’ commitment to the Ethiopian people.

“While food aid to the Tigray Region is paused, other vital assistance not implicated in the diversion scheme will continue, including life-saving nutritional supplements, safe drinking water, and support for agricultural activities and development,” she said.

2 Comments

  1. My question is this: For how long will Ethiopians will be dependent on aid food program? It is shocking to see people are still receiving help from abroad while billions of dollars are taken out of the country by the TPLF leaders and its sympathizers. As it is stated in 1984 by George Orwell ” Freedom is slavery, Slavery is Freedom”.
    On the other hand, the theft of aid resources is not new in the TPLF world. They were stealing while they were in the bushes and they are taking away food supplies from needy people to feed their armed gangsters. This is not new news. What is sad is, they are still using the name of the Tigrean people to satisfy their own needs. It my strong feeling, as long as TPLF is alive there will be no peace or tranquility for the Ethiopian people.
    The so called Federal government is busy chasing Fano and displacing the Amhara, it does not care what goes in the Tigray region. I am sure the suspension of Aid will cause hardship to our beloved Tigrean people, however, if warehouses are looted what can one do? The country is lawless. In such circumstances, it is very hard to feed the needy due to the numerous gun touting gangs that are roaming the country day and night in the name of freedom while they are the ones terrorizing the citizens without remorse. Shame on us!

  2. What a sad story. The theft must have so rampant that led to this decision by Good Ole USA. If this stealing from beleaguered and starving people does not qualify to be held accountable at The Hague what will? Commies, commies and their by-products!!! What can I say them lying ruffians? That is why I have nothing but utter disdain for them.

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