USAID Halts Food Aid to Ethiopia’s Tigray Region
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced its suspension of food shipments to the war-torn Tigray region of northern Ethiopia after discovering its food supplies were sold on the local market.
- The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced its suspension of food shipments to the war-torn Tigray region of northern Ethiopia after discovering its food supplies were sold on the local market.1
- In a statement Wednesday, USAID Administrator Samantha Power issued the "difficult decision" to halt USAID-supported food shipments to the people of Tigray experiencing "famine-like conditions."2
- Power went on to specify that an investigation was launched in Ethiopia in advance of the decision to temporarily halt shipments and that Washington had expressed its concerns to Ethiopian government officials and the Tigray Interim Regional Administration.3
- Both sides committed to identifying and holding accountable those behind the misappropriation of supplies, the USAID chief said, adding that the resumption of food distribution would depend on the implementation of "strong oversight measures."4
- The UN World Food Program late Wednesday confirmed earlier reports that it has also halted aid deliveries to Tigray, whose population of 6M is largely dependent on food aid, and will only resume deliveries when it is certain the aid will reach those in need.5
- Meanwhile, also on Wednesday, the first round of "constructive" negotiations between the Ethiopian federal government and the rebel group Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) to settle the conflict in Ethiopia's Oromia region ended without significant results, Addis Ababa said.6
Sources: 1France 24, 2Al Jazeera, 3Asharq AL, 4Le Monde.fr, 5Washington Post, and 6The East African.
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by VOA. USAID's suspension of food aid is a blow to civilians already suffering from the severe humanitarian crisis in Tigray but reaffirms how the US stands with those in need. This is underscored by the fact that Washington continues to deliver other vital — uncompromised — aid to the region to address the crisis in the aftermath of the horrific war. Washington stands ready to resume food aid, but first, Addis Ababa and the Tigray People's Liberation Front must live up to their responsibility.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Global Times. The theft of food aid for the suffering people of Tigray is a crime, but at the same time, it's cynical for the US to portray itself as the advocate of the Ethiopian people. It was Washington that solely blamed Addis Ababa for the war and suspended bilateral preferential trade agreements in addition to economic sanctions. Humanitarian aid is crucial, but USAID is just another instrument of Washington's cynical foreign policy in Africa.