U.S. gives Ethiopia $91 million in drought aid for food and medicine

U.S. gives Ethiopia $91 million in drought aid for food and medicine.
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The United States will provide an additional $91 million in humanitarian aid for Ethiopia to cope with a third straight year of drought, the top U.S. official in charge of assistance said Thursday.
The extra funding brings U.S. aid for food and medical care in Ethiopia to more than $450 million this year, said Mark Green, the new administrator of the United States Agency for International Development.
Green announced the extra aid after he met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
In a statement he read to reporters, Green said he also had urged the Ethiopian leader to take “concrete steps to create political space for all voices to be heard and to uphold constitutional and guaranteed rights.” Earlier this month, Ethiopia lifted a 10-month state of emergency following deadly clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters alleging right abuses and political cronyism.
Drought in Ethiopia’s lowlands bordering Somalia has sent herders farther afield in their search for land where their animals can graze, and stilted crops in areas where corn stalks grow tall but produce no ears of edible corn.
On Wednesday, Green said Ethiopia would be one of 12 countries that will get focused attention from Feed the Future programs, even if Congress approves cuts in USAID’s budget.
In recent years, U.S. aid has tried to help herders become farmers, provided seed money to small business entrepreneurs, taught impoverished Ethiopians job skills and provided nutritional education.
“The United States will continue providing assistance for vulnerable people, but we all agree host-country partners must be willing to step up during crises, and the prime minister indicated that he was looking to do so,” he said.
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