Ethiopien - Regeringen fremhæver at de fattige vil komme til at lide hvis bistandsdonorerne tilbageholder bistand
ETHIOPIA: Halt in budget support will affect the poor, minister says
IRINnews.org, 30. december 2005
Bistandsdonorernes varslede indstilling af finansiel bistand til Ethiopiens stadig kraftigere kritiserede regering, har fået landets finansminister til at kommentere handlingen, som han kalder stærkt kritisabel, specielt fordi det vil være landets fattige befolkning, der vil komme til at undgælde for beslutningen. Han hævder, at donorerne må have misforstået, hvad der sker i landet, eller ligge under for pressionsgrupper.
ADDIS ABABA, 30 Dec 2005 (IRIN) - Ethiopia’s finance minister, Sufyan Ahmed, has said that the poor in his country would suffer if aid donors carried out their plan to withhold US $375 million in budget support because of the government's recent crackdown on opposition supporters.
Sufyan said on Friday the donors' decision to shift that money to programmes in the country would delay implementation of the government's poverty alleviation projects.
"We feel this is an unacceptable decision, but it is their prerogative," he added.
Direct budgetary support, he said, made up around 10 percent of Ethiopia's annual budget. "The impact should be insignificant although it is the poor who will be affected," Sufyan added.
Britain, the European Commission and the World Bank are the main providers of direct budgetary support to Ethiopia. They are angered by what they see as the government's reluctance to respect democratic principles.
On Wednesday 129 opposition leaders, journalists and members of the civil society were again remanded in custody on charges ranging from treason to genocide. Most of the defendants were arrested during disturbances that erupted after political parties alleged that the ruling bloc party had massively rigged in elections held in May.
Sufyan said the donors had "misunderstood" the political situation in Ethiopia and that the government had tried, to no avail, to correct the misconception.
"Either they have misunderstood what is going on in the country or they are under pressure from certain groups - I don’t know," he said.
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