The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has ceased food aid to Ethiopia due to allegations of donation misuse, leaving the Somali regional government in Ethiopia worried about the impact on over two million displaced people. The group is part of a larger population of over 20 million Ethiopians who are in desperate need of food assistance and depend on humanitarian aid. Working with the Ethiopian government, USAID discovered evidence of a “widespread and coordinated campaign” to channel aid away from its intended beneficiaries . According to a USAID spokesperson, the agency intends to resume assistance as soon as it can ensure the system’s integrity.
This suspension could jeopardize the Somali region’s efforts from a chronic drought. The Somali Regional Government’s Minister for Disaster Risk Management, Ahmed Yasin Sheikh Ibrahim, emphasized the precarious situation of displaced people. “Our region is home to a million displaced people, including those fleeing the conflict between Somalia and Oromia and those displaced by the drought.” “They rely on regular food aid,” he explained. The minister also mentioned the impact of recent spring rains, which caused disruption to the lives of 50,000 families and displaced another 30,000. This is especially acute in the Shabelle region’s districts of Qalafe, Ferfer, and Mustahil, where villagers had to be evacuated and relocated by boat.
Ethiopia’s food crisis has been worsened by both the ongoing drought and the recent end of conflict in the northern Tigray region, with millions of citizens in desperate need of food assistance.