EU pledges delayed $680 million aid package for Ethiopia

The European Union on Tuesday pledged a $680 million aid package for Ethiopia that was delayed due to a 2020-2022 civil war in its northern Tigray region.

Thousands died and millions were displaced in a two-year conflict between the government and regional forces from Tigray. The conflict formally ended last November.

Restrictions on access to Tigray during the war pushed many of its 5.5 million residents to the brink of starvation, aid groups and the United Nations said.

The peace deal has largely held, but UN experts say there have been ongoing atrocities there since the end of the war in Tigray.

Clashes also broke out in late July in the neighbouring Amhara region, where at least 183 people have been killed, according to UN figures.

“Ethiopia is engaged in a peace process, transitional justice and reform. The European Union has consistently supported these tracks,” Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, told journalists in Addis Ababa.

“Together, the EU and Ethiopia aim to gradually normalise relations through structured political dialogue and rebuild a mutual reinforcing partnership,” Urpilainen said.

The aid package had been due to be disbursed between 2021 and 2027.

The resumption of EU budget support, which was suspended in January 2021, was contingent on Ethiopia agreeing to a reform program with the International Monetary Fund, as well as achieving other “political conditions”, she said.

Ethiopia’s finance minister Ahmed Shide said the aid deal signified the “strategic importance” of Ethiopia’s partnership with the EU.

Source: Reuters