A multi-billion dollar aid program administered by the World Bank is underwriting systematic human rights abuses in Ethiopia. Last September, Ethiopian victims submitted a complaint about the program to the World Bank Inspection Panel, which is tasked with investigating whether or not the Bank complies with its own policies to prevent social and environmental harm.  A meeting of the Bank’s board of directors to discuss the Panel’s preliminary findings was postponed on March 19th due to objections from the Ethiopian government.

Ethiopiais one the largest aid recipients in the world, receiving approximately US$3 billion annually from external donors. The largest aid program, financed by the World Bank, theUK, the European Commission and other Western governments, is called Promotion of Basic Services (PBS).  It aims to expand access to services in five sectors: education, health, agriculture, water supply and sanitation, and rural roads. The PBS program objectives are indisputably laudable and aim to meet a number of dire needs of the Ethiopian population. There is evidence, however, that it is contributing to a government campaign to forcibly resettle an estimated 1.5 million people.

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In the harsh Ogaden region of Ethiopia, impoverished ethnic Somali people are being murdered and tortured, raped, persecuted and displaced by government paramilitary forces. Illegal actions carried out with the knowledge and tacit support of donor countries, seemingly content to turn a blind eye to war crimes and crimes against humanity being committed by their brutal, repressive ally in the region; and a deaf ear to the pain and suffering of the Ogaden Somali people.

Around five million traditionally nomadic pastoralists – live in what is one of the least developed corners of the world besieged by military oppression, drought and famine.

Read also:

Besieged, Abused, Ignored: Ethiopian Annihilation Of The Ogaden People

 

ONA

 

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