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USAID’s “Extensive Monitoring” reveals diversion of food in 7 regions in Ethiopia, sources say

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Mekelle, Jun 8, 2023 (Tigrai Television)-A memo from a meeting by the donor community in Ethiopia showed that USAID has verified the diversion of donor-funded food aid in seven regions in Ethiopia.

“Since late March, USAID staff has conducted monitoring visits at 63 flour mills in seven of Ethiopia’s nine regions, and witnessed significant diversion of USAID-funded humanitarian food commodities across all seven regions.” a memo from a meeting by the Humanitarian and Resilience Donor Group (#HRDG), shared by our sources stated.

According to our sources, Ethiopia’s major humanitarian donor USAID would pause operations across Ethiopia as a “coordinated criminal scheme” diverted food aid that was meant for the hungry.

The memo also shows the diversion scheme is mainly arranged by Ethiopian federal and regional authorities.

“The scheme appears to be orchestrated by Federal and Regional government of Ethiopia (GoE) entities, with military units across the country benefiting from humanitarian assistance. Private grain and flour traders and operators have also played a role in the scheme.”

HRDG recommended donors force the Ethiopian government to refrain from “all levels of from controlling and dispatch, warehousing or distribution of humanitarian commodities.”

On May 4, USAID issued a statement to let up humanitarian operations in Tigrai amid the suspension of food diversion.

By Abel Tsgabu