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The United States is reviving its food assistance program for Ethiopian refugees after earlier concerns about aid being diverted and sold.
With Ethiopia facing intensified food shortages due to the Tigray conflict and a severe drought in the Horn of Africa, a senior USAID official noted, “The resumption of food assistance to refugees will save lives and alleviate suffering for some of the most vulnerable.”
This renewed commitment to aid follows rigorous reforms introduced by the Ethiopian government and its collaborators, focusing on “strengthened program monitoring, reinforced commodity tracking, and improved registration processes.” These changes aim to ensure that aid reaches its intended beneficiaries, particularly as the assistance will benefit various refugee camps across Ethiopia, excluding the Tigray region.
This region recently witnessed a ceasefire after a two-year war, which resulted in significant casualties and near-famine conditions. Another USAID representative highlighted that approximately 1 million refugees in Ethiopia, originating from countries like Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea, stand to benefit from this initiative.
During the fiscal year 2022, USAID extended close to US$1.5 billion in humanitarian aid to Ethiopia, predominantly as food assistance.