US Restoration of Foreign Aid to Ethiopia Signals New Course  | Voice of America – English

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration reversed a policy that had linked foreign aid to Ethiopia to its Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) hydropower project signaling a decided change in U.S. relations with Ethiopia, analysts say.

Source: US Restoration of Foreign Aid to Ethiopia Signals New Course  | Voice of America – English

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration reversed a policy that had linked foreign aid to Ethiopia to its Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) hydropower project signaling a decided change in U.S. relations with Ethiopia, analysts say.

“It is a fairly predictable move, as the Trump administration aid freeze had not achieved anything other than further antagonizing the Ethiopians,” William Davison, International Crisis Group’s senior analyst for Ethiopia told VOA.

Former President Donald Trump cut $100 million in aid to Ethiopia in September 2020 saying it would be withheld until the country agreed to a deal following a mediation effort led by U.S. Treasury Department and the World Bank.

The relationship further deteriorated when Trump said Egypt would “end up blowing up the dam” during a conference call. This resulted in Ethiopia’s foreign minister summoning the U.S. ambassador in Addis Ababa and calling the comments an “incitement of war” between Ethiopia and Egypt.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the total amount of aid to Ethiopia affected by the pause was $270 million. He told reporters last week that the U.S. is reviewing the paused aid money to ensure it goes where it is needed most.

“We are committed to providing life-saving assistance to those in need, and humanitarian assistance does remain exempt from the pause,” Price said.

Price added that the U.S. will try to play a constructive role in ongoing discussions between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt over Nile River water usage issues.

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