Ethiopia: Overseas Aid

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 21st December 2020.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that the EU is considering withholding aid from the government of Ethiopia until the impact of the conflict in Tigray on human rights in the region can be assessed; how much UK aid was given to Ethiopia (1) last year, and (2) over the past decade; and what plans they have, if any, to use UK funding to the government of Ethiopia as leverage to help end the conflict in Tigray.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK is engaging with partners, including the EU, on the implications of the current situation in Tigray on development and humanitarian assistance, which plays a vital role in supporting the provision of basic services and lifesaving support across the whole country. Ethiopia is the UK's largest bilateral aid programme, reaching millions of poor people while supporting UK interests. In Financial Year 2019/2020 the UK delivered £292 million in bilateral aid, and about £3 billion over the last ten years.

We do not provide direct budget support to Ethiopia. Evidence from Ethiopia and other contexts suggests that withholding finance is not an effective lever. Withholding funding for basic services and lifesaving support would harm the most vulnerable poor people. We remain committed to the development of Ethiopia and its people, and a peaceful resolution to the conflict. We continually review our support in light of changing circumstances.

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