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DFID Attempts to Justify the Unjustifiable Support to Ethiopia (Sep 2008)

posted 29 Jan 2012, 06:24 by D Woldeab

It is to be recalled that we had asked you to write a letter of protest to the Department for International Development for supporting the Ethiopian government at a time when their military budget is on the increase and that they are defying the rules of international law. 

In response to the many protest letters, DFID states that the support provided by the department is specifically earmarked for poverty reduction and humanitarian assistance programmes and is not a general donation to the central budget.  DFID continues to claim that it "imposes strict audit requirements on the Government of Ethiopia to ensure that the money it spends goes directly to poor people and is not for unintended purposes, such as military expenditure".

If the above statement was to be true, the billions of money that is pumped into Ethiopia would have made a difference to the lives of the millions of poor Ethiopians.  The fact of the matter is that it hasn't and it will not.  We know it and DFID knows it.

DFID has also tried to justify Ethiopia's military expenditure.  This is what they had to say:

".......[it] is correct to note that the Government of Ethiopia recently announced a 14% increase in defence spending (an amount of some US$50 million).  However given the high levels of inflation currently experienced in Ethiopia, this amounts to a cut in real terms.  Indeed, the Ethiopian government's funding to defence and security remains well within acceptable international guidelines, at around 2.5% of GDP."

We don't think that the Ethiopian government would have done a better job in justifying their military spending.  It is an insult to our intelligence for DFID to tell us that a country like Ethiopia can afford to wage wars in many fronts and invade a sovereign country with a budget less than 2.5% of its GDP.   The people of the Horn of Africa have suffered tremendously and DFID's support to Ethiopia will only prolong the suffering.   It is our duty to say enough is enough.

Copy of a typical response from DFID can be found at this link. 

We thank all those who responded to our call.

AGE

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