UN Donors Pledge $630 Million For Conflict-Hit Ethiopia

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A United Nations-backed gathering pledged almost $630 million for Ethiopia’s humanitarian crisis on Tuesday but fell short of the $1 billion sought to help feed and support millions of people facing conflict and climate change in Africa’s second most populous country.

The United States, Ethiopia’s leading humanitarian donor, warned that its resources are “increasingly stretched.” The U.K., the second-largest donor, said Ethiopia risks being ”overshadowed by other humanitarian crises globally.”

Donors also called on the Ethiopian government to ensure aid is delivered without interference and reaches those in need.

Last year, the U.S Agency for International Development for months suspended all food aid to Ethiopia after an internal investigation found that donated food intended for millions of hungry people was being diverted on a “widespread” scale.

Ethiopia faces several conflicts. The two-year conflict in the northern Tigray region, which ended with a peace deal in November 2022, left most of the region’s population of 6 million relying on humanitarian help.

Donors, however, urged Ethiopia to ensure the full implementation of the peace agreement and peacefully resolve ongoing conflicts in its Amhara and Oromia regions.

The U.S. noted the killing of nine aid workers in the Amhara region since April of last year and urged the Ethiopian government to do more to protect them.

Humanitarian organizations said low funding had forced most of them to scale down life-saving operations.

“The pledges you have made here today will prove essential to support the chronically underfunded humanitarian system,” the International Committee of the Red Cross said.