A Divided Europe Threatens Ethiopia with More Aid Suspensions

Upcoming budgetary support from the European Union (EU) amounting to 100 million euros may be facing a potential deferral due to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ethiopia’s northern region.

The disbursement of these funds for the year 2021 need to be well thought out, according to Jutta Urpilainen, EU commissioner for international partnerships, who stressed the importance of a common stance between member states in order to effect any real influence on the country.

The Commissioner also mentioned the debt relief request submitted by Ethiopia, along with Chad and Zambia, and underlined that the decision will be based on technical analysis rather than politics.

This comes on the heels of 88 million euros in support being postponed in December. The funds, earmarked for bolstering the logistics sector in the country, were withheld on the grounds of demand for the provision of unfettered humanitarian access and the restoration of communication lines to Tigray Regional State, where a war broke out in early November 2020. The war forced over 60,000 to flee to Sudan. Around 4.5 million people are in need of emergency food assistance, of whom 2.4 million are internally displaced.

Humanitarian agencies have since been requesting access to the Regional State, where essential services, food and water supplies remain disrupted.

Ethiopia has been one of the largest recipients of funding from the EU with 1.2 billion euros in financial support between 2014-2020, a third of which was designated toward development work. The EU is also expected to decide on its 2021-2027 development budget this year.

Published on Feb 18,2021 [ Vol 21 ,No 1086]



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