The World Bank and Britain have announced a new package of loans and grants to Ethiopia that could total nearly $450 million this year. Six months ago, the bank suspended direct budget aid because of human rights concerns. A key part of the new 14 month aid package is a $215 million program for the protection of basic services -- education, water, agricultural and health projects, with funds to be given to local and regional governments.
Resumption of aid is controversial, but World Bank officials say the poor people of Ethiopia should not be made to suffer because of political problems. The World Bank’s country director for Ethiopia, Ishac Diwan, said the bank “is proposing to remain engaged in the country with the expectation that governance will improve.”
He talked about the bank’s plans to stimulate economic growth and strengthen governance in Ethiopia, in an interview with VOA Horn of Africa Service reporter Tizita Belachew. (click link above to listen to the interview)