EU withholds budget support for Ethiopia over Tigray conflict

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News ID: 49791
Publish Date: 12:58 - 16 December 2020
Wednesday, 16 December 2020_The European Union (EU) has decided to put a hold on funding to Ethiopia due to the month-long conflict in the country’s Tigray region, which has triggered a refugee crisis and a humanitarian disaster.

EU withholds budget support for Ethiopia over Tigray conflictThe EU is delaying nearly 90 million euros (over 109.8 million dollars) in budget support payments to Ethiopia, said a document seen by AFP on Wednesday, adding that “Postponing these disbursements does not imply that funds are lost for the Government of Ethiopia.”

The EU has provided 815 million euros of budget support to Ethiopia in the seven years through 2020. EU officials have decided to postpone the additional 90 million euros due to the impact the violence has had on human rights.

The document, authenticated by two diplomatic officials in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, said the decision intended to highlight the EU’s wish for a cessation of hostilities and “resolution through political means” of the conflict, as well as the bloc’s concerns about restrictions on humanitarian and media access.

The document further called for a “follow-up on allegations of human rights abuse” during the conflict in Tigray, which began in early November.

The postponed EU funding includes 60 million euros for a program supporting transport and logistics links with Ethiopia’s neighbors and 17.5 million euros for the health sector.

There was no immediate response from Ethiopian officials to the EU decision.

Tigray, with a population of six million — some one million of them now thought to have been displaced — has remained cut off from the world since an armed conflict erupted between Ethiopian troops and local rebels there last month.

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