The United States government made a similar announcement the day before, and on Friday, the World Food Programme (WFP) announced that it would also be halting a portion of its food aid to Ethiopia due to supply chain diversions.
According to a news release issued by the PAM, “We will temporarily cease food aid in Ethiopia; however, nutritional assistance to children, pregnant and lactating women, school meal programmes, and activities to strengthen farmers and herders will continue without interruption” in light of the external shocks that the country is currently experiencing. WFP executive director Cindy McCain is quoted in the text as saying, “Diversion of food is absolutely unacceptable,” and she welcomes “the Ethiopian government’s commitment to investigate and hold those responsible accountable.”
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which is in charge of international assistance on behalf of the United States government, made the decision on Thursday to stop providing food assistance to Ethiopia and condemned a “widespread and coordinated operation to divert” this assistance. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has stated that they “intend to immediately resume food aid as soon as we have confidence in the integrity of the distribution systems to get aid to its intended recipients.”
The Ethiopian government and USAID issued a joint statement on Thursday evening, reassuring the public that a joint investigation is currently being conducted “so that those responsible for these hijackings are held accountable.”
On Friday, the World Food Programme (WFP) issued the following statement: “Redouble efforts to improve controls and safeguards to ensure that food aid reaches the beneficiaries, vulnerable populations across Ethiopia.” In a statement, the WFP announced that they are “working closely with their UN partners, humanitarian organizations, and local actors to reform the way aid is distributed across Ethiopia.”
The United Nations’ humanitarian agency (Ocha) projected at the end of May that about 20 million people, or 16 percent of Ethiopia’s total population of 120 million, were dependent on food help as a result of wars or a severe drought in the region. 4.6 million People fled their homes in the Horn of Africa and sought refuge in Ethiopia.