Ethiopia, partners to probe alleged aid misappropriation

Refugees who crossed from Sudan to Ethiopia wait in line to register at IOM (International organization for Migration) in Metema, on May 4, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)

ADDIS ABABA – The Ethiopian government and aid partners have formed a joint technical committee to investigate allegations of food aid misappropriation, an Ethiopian official said.

Speaking at a press conference to state media outlets on Saturday, State Minister for Ethiopia Government Communication Service (GCS) Selamawit Kassa said the committee will comprehensively investigate any illegal acts that led to aid partners like the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to suspend food aid delivery to millions of Ethiopians who are in need of urgent humanitarian aid.

The WFP estimates that more than 20 million people in Ethiopia affected by ongoing drought and conflict urgently need humanitarian food assistance

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Kassa said the joint technical committee which is headed by the Ethiopia National Disaster Risk and Management Commission (NDRMC) is already working to deliver inputs for a possible solution to the problem that led to the food aid suspension by aid agencies.

She also said the joint technical committee has already held several successful dialogues since it started its work.

Earlier this month, the WFP disclosed it has decided to suspend its food aid assistance program in Ethiopia citing large-scale aid misappropriation.

The WFP statement also accused unnamed local and foreign entities of disseminating hateful and defaming information.

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The UN agency estimates that more than 20 million people in Ethiopia affected by ongoing drought and conflict urgently need humanitarian food assistance.