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Finance Minister, USAID Administrator Discuss Developments in Ethiopia –

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USAID Administrator Samantha Power, Ethiopian Finance Minister Ahmed Shide

Addis Ababa, April 26, 2022 (Walta) – The Ethiopian delegation led by the Minister of Finance Ahmed Shide held a fruitful discussion with USAID Administrator Samantha Power on the development cooperation between the two countries and the current political and economic development in Ethiopia.

The discussion focused on the multifaceted challenges of the conflict, the recent drought affecting the Horn region, and the implications of the current global trend of increasing commodity prices on Ethiopia’s food security.

The Minister highlighted the main objective of the Ethiopian government, including protecting the unity, territorial integrity, and sovereignty of the Ethiopian state, addressing the dire humanitarian needs of the people affected by the conflict, and healing the division and wounds within the Ethiopian social and political landscape to pave the way for peace and reconciliation.

The Minister underscored the significant overall impacts of the conflict on the country, including the major humanitarian crisis, and the Government’s commitment to a cessation of hostilities as a bold step toward reconciliation and enduring peace in Ethiopia.

The meeting gave an update on critical steps taken by the Government, including the indefinite humanitarian truce declared by the Government to remove any barriers to humanitarian operations and for easy movement of humanitarian staff to meet the full humanitarian needs of affected populations in Amhara, Afar and Tigray regions.

The Minister also briefed the meeting on the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce established to implement the recommendations of the Joint Investigation by the UNOHCHR and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the progress made in this regard. The Government acknowledges the need to enhance efforts with a view to providing redress to victims and ensuring accountability and non-recurrence.

The meeting highlighted the Federal government’s comprehensive and inclusive national dialogue efforts toward lasting peace. The national dialogue will be aimed at engendering national consensus on a broad range of issues, and this process is being spearheaded by an independent Commission that was established by Parliament.

The meeting also discussed ways to support food insecurity challenges due to the severe drought affecting the Horn of Africa as well as global commodities price increases. USAID indicated it has pledged additional resources for a regional drought response program, which will be launched in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia.

The Minister acknowledged USAID’s reliable and strong partnership and legacy in Ethiopia for its continued swift response to humanitarian crises, including droughts.

Overall, the meeting agreed on the overall positive progress towards peace and humanitarian assistance, while highlighting the need for further efforts to allow for the unimpeded and sustained delivery of humanitarian assistance as well as adequate support for the rehabilitation of critical infrastructure and restoration of essential services in northern Ethiopia.

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