Ethiopia’s Tigray loses World Food Programme funding due to robbery.

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The United Nations World Food Programme has paused food distribution in Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray region due to fears that huge amounts of supplies were being diverted.

This revelation follows a similar announcement made by USAID on Wednesday, in which it said that it had discovered proof that food assistance meant for the people of Tigray was being diverted and sold.

Neither party acknowledged the source of the claims, and the WFP provided no information on who was to blame for the diversion or when it happened.

However, it issued a statement Wednesday night “strongly reiterating to our cooperating partners that they monitor and report any illicit activities and that they are enforcing the agreed controls.”

The head of the Tigray regional interim government, Getachew Reda, said in a statement that the suspension of assistance would “hurt our people who are facing grave challenges.”

He said that a task force had been created to investigate the theft, which he described as a crime against the elderly, the disabled, and the children.

When contacted for comment, an Ethiopian federal government spokesman did not respond quickly.

Tens of thousands were killed, hundreds of thousands were forced to starve, and millions were displaced when a two-year war broke out between the federal government and troops commanded by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which controls the northern area, in November 2020.

The government and Tigray forces achieved an agreement in November, allowing for additional supplies and the partial restoration of services.

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