June 17, 2024

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United States Resumes Food Assistance in Ethiopia after Significant Reforms

BAHIR DAR, ETHIOPIA - DECEMBER 17: Volunteers at the Zanzalima Camp for Internally Displaced People unload 50 kilogram saks of Wheat flour that were a part of an aid delivery from USAID on December 17, 2021 in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. USAID started delivering food aid to the camp in September 2021 that currently houses over 5000 IDP's. The IDP's housed in this one camp hail from the cities of Dessie, Kombolcha, Hayk, Woldeyia and Sekota and came to the camp to escape the TPLF invasion of the Amhara and Afar regions which is said to be responsible for the displacement of over 5 million people. (Photo by J. Countess/Getty Images)

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced the resumption of food assistance in Ethiopia, following extensive reforms in the food assistance structure by the Government of Ethiopia and humanitarian partners. This move comes after months of diplomatic engagement and negotiation, aimed at ensuring aid reaches the most vulnerable populations in the country.

USAID Spokesperson, Jessica Jennings, stated, “The United States has long been a leader in providing vital humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable around the world. In Ethiopia, we remain committed to delivering life-saving aid to those in need.”

The reforms implemented by the Government of Ethiopia and USAID’s humanitarian partners will bring about significant changes in the food aid system, ensuring enhanced oversight and beneficiary selection processes. This will provide confidence that food assistance will reach the most vulnerable populations as intended.

During the one-year trial period, USAID will closely monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented reforms to ensure aid is reaching those experiencing acute food insecurity. Program monitoring and oversight will be strengthened, commodity tracking will be reinforced, and beneficiary registration processes will be improved by USAID partners.

According to USAID, the Government of Ethiopia has agreed to operational changes, allowing humanitarian partners to better identify and approve beneficiaries based on vulnerability criteria. Additionally, the government has committed to providing unimpeded access for USAID and third-party monitors to review various sites across the country.

“USAID places the highest priority on taking every possible measure to make sure that U.S. humanitarian assistance is used for its intended purpose, reaches the most vulnerable, and ultimately saves lives,” emphasized Jennings.

The resumption of food assistance in Ethiopia is seen as a significant step towards addressing the urgent needs of the population facing food insecurity. USAID’s commitment, along with the collaborative efforts of the Government of Ethiopia and humanitarian partners, seeks to ensure that aid reaches those who need it most.

With a significant number of people in need of food assistance in Ethiopia, these reforms are expected to bring about a positive impact and save lives. The United States remains pleased with the reforms implemented and is optimistic about the future of food aid delivery in Ethiopia.

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