ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The United States will provide an additional $91 million in humanitarian aid for Ethiopia to cope with a third straight year of drought, the top U.S. official in charge of assistance said Thursday.
The extra funding brings U.S. aid for food and medical care in Ethiopia to more than $450 million this year, said Mark Green, the new administrator of the United States Agency for International Development.
Green announced the extra aid after he met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. In a statement he read to reporters, Green said he also had urged the Ethiopian leader to take “concrete steps to create political space for all voices to be heard and to uphold constitutional and guaranteed rights.”
Earlier this month, Ethiopia lifted a 10-month state of emergency following deadly clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters alleging right abuses and political cronyism.
Green, who is on his first trip abroad since starting the job three weeks ago, is in Ethiopia to highlight U.S. efforts to help impoverished countries emerge from crisis like drought and famine better prepared to weather future setbacks.
On Wednesday, Green said Ethiopia would be one of 12 countries that will get focused attention from Feed the Future programs, even if Congress approves cuts in USAID’s budget. The Trump administration has proposed halving Feed the Future’s total budget for agricultural development programs from over $1 billion this year to $500 million next year. Ethiopia’s $78 million share would also be cut in half.