Ever since Donald Trump became the President of the United States of America a year ago, the fate of countries that receive large amounts of aid money has been hanging in the balance. The US President’s campaign promise to cut back foreign aid has caused fear, which was exacerbated in the last days of 2017 when the president threatened to withhold aid to countries who voted in favor of the United Nations resolution rejecting the United Sates’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
This is expected to affect many developing countries, like Ethiopia, who have benefited significantly from the aid given by the Western superpower. In fact, the United States is Ethiopia’s second largest donor after the United Kingdom. Especially since 1961, the United States has been providing assistance in the form of aid to Ethiopia through United States Agency for International Development (USAID), an agency primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid. The activities of USAID in Ethiopia, can be traced back to the 1973-74 drought and the resulting famine that cost the lives of thousands of Ethiopians. USAID’s assistance continued during the famines of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. The assistance includes humanitarian assistance and emergency relief, as well as drought recovery loans and food security programmes.
Even during the Dergue, which followed socialist ideology, the assistance of USAID continued in areas of commercial agriculture improvement and manpower training as well as education in addition to the usual humanitarian assistance extended when drought strikes. After 1991, USAID expanded its activities to promoting democracy, improving food security and expanding health and educational facilities. Between 1951 and 2013, the United States provided USD11.7 billion to Ethiopia in the form of economic assistance through USAID and predecessor agencies, according to USAID’s official website.
|Aid (in Million USD)
Source: Siyrce UN, USAID
6th Year . January 16 – February 15 2018 . No.57