Mis-use of Foreign aid in Ethiopia

Foreign aid is one of the many tools that can improve the quality of life and help meet many basic needs. Ethiopia has received billions of dollars in developmental aid. For example, the U.S. gives Ethiopia approximately $800 million in aid annually. However, the question is, who is receiving, and who is responsible for distributing the foreign aid. Obviously, the aid is manipulated along partisan ideological lines. The government has used aid as a political weapon to control the population, punish dissent, undermine political opponents, and increase the wealth of its allies. Based on their track record, officials of the ruling party have used foreign aid to oppress the very people it is intended to help, and have sequestered some of the money in their foreign bank accounts. There is a general agreement that foreign aid is far less effective in countries that are poorly governed and corrupt, and indeed, can prove counterproductive. Some economic studies have denounced traditional foreign aid because it enables predatory, parasitic institutions to continue their corrupt and destructive policies indefinitely. Economic studies have found that individual freedom, good governance, and the rule of law are key drivers in promoting economic growth and reducing poverty. Ana Gomes, a career diplomat who serves as member of the European Parliament, expressed her disappointment that foreign aid has failed to benefit those who fight for justice and democracy and that it has actually increased the potential for conflict in Ethiopia and Africa in general. She stated that the politicization and manipulation of aid distribution by the Ethiopian ruling party violates international law and all standards of moral decency. She stated further that those countries that provide aid must take urgent action to ensure that this immoral practice comes to an end. Donors are well aware of the human rights abuses that take place in such countries, but have ignored the repression of civil and political rights, and remained deaf to appeals for justice and freedom. She concluded by saying that the silence on the part of Western governments amounts to collusion, and constitutes a gross misuse of taxpayers’ money and a betrayal of international human rights laws. From a macroeconomic perspective, the donors’ taxpayers’ money has greatly contributed to prop up Ethiopia’s dictatorial regime. Therefore, it is better to stop giving the Foreign aid or it should be wisely controlled before it is consumed by the corruptive political leaders.

By:  Syit DA

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