Wednesday, January 18, 2006

UK redirects Ethiopia aid

Britain cut all of its aid to Ethiopia's government because of human rights concerns, development aid minister Hilary Benn said Wednesday.

On a visit to Addis Ababa for talks with Prime Minister Meles, Benn said the cutoff reflects "serious concern" about the aftermath of bitterly disputed May elections, which included riots in June and November that left nearly 90 people dead. He cited the detention of opposition party leaders, rights activists, journalists and members of civil society.
"Because of our concern over the political situation in Ethiopia, I have told the prime minister that we cannot provide direct budget support to (his) government under the current circumstances," Benn said late Wednesday.
Full report by DPA via ReliefWeb 19 January. 2006.

Note, News 24 (SA) report says Britain plans to redirect the $88m to humanitarian agencies working in the Horn of Africa nation.
Benn said that funding for aid agencies in Ethiopia would continue as normal and that aid earmarked for the government will now be redirected to assist with a major drought and other problems.


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