(Washington) The United States announced Wednesday suspending “until further notice” its food aid to the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia, ravaged by years of conflict, due to the diversion of part of this help.
“We have made the difficult decision to pause all USAID food assistance to the Tigray region until further notice,” the USAID Administrator said in a statement. United States for Development and Humanitarian Assistance), Samantha Power.
And this because part of this aid was “diverted and sold on the local market”, she adds.
The U.S. government raised the matter with Ethiopian authorities as well as local authorities in Tigray who “expressed their willingness to work with us to identify those responsible and hold them accountable,” it said. She.
However, the organization specifies that this does not concern nutritional supplements, the distribution of drinking water and support for agricultural activities in the region.
The amount of food aid involved was not specified, but the United States is the largest humanitarian contributor to Ethiopia.
“This diversion once again strikes an innocent civilian population,” the statement continued, noting that “millions of people are living with acute food insecurity.”
The break comes six months after the Ethiopian federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) signed on November 2 a “Cessation of Hostilities Agreement” ending two years of brutal war. and murderous.
On Tuesday, the United States welcomed in a press release the “significant progress” made in the implementation of this agreement even if the challenges remain numerous.
During the conflict, Tigray and its six million inhabitants were long deprived of assistance. Humanitarian aid now reaches the region, but remains insufficient, with around 90% of its population depending on it.
Northern Ethiopia “has become more accessible”, but the aid does not reach “the required scale”, underlined the UN humanitarian agency (Ocha) in early April.