Stuck on a track in eastern Ethiopia, trucks carrying food for the starving are forced to turn back. After one of the worst droughts for decades, the rains have finally arrived, but now only add to the complication of the delivery of food aid.
The Ethiopian government has stopped the fundraising campaign by UN agencies to help millions of Ethiopians facing famine, according to ESAT’s sources from Addis Ababa. The sources said the Special Envoy for the Prime Minister, Ambassador Berhane Gebrekiristos has asked the Addis Ababa representative of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) to stop the fundraising campaign that began on March 23, 2016. Continue reading Official: UN Emergency Food Appeals Tarnish Ethiopia’s Image→
Author’s Note: The following is a true and correct copy of my letter to USAID Administrator Gayle E. Smith dated March 16, 2016, and the response I received from T.C. Cooper, Assistant Administrator, USAID Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs dated April 7, 2016…
My letter questions recent statements made by Ms. Smith regarding the famine in Ethiopia and solicits factual and policy clarifications.
Mr. Cooper’s letter is non-responsive to my inquiries and ignores specific factual and policy issues I have raised with the Administrator.
It is a matter of public record that I have fiercely opposed Ms. Smith’s confirmation to become USAID Administrator. But as a true-blue constitutionalist, I acknowledge and respect the Senate’s vote to confirm Ms. Smith despite my personal opposition.
My inquiry letter is guided purely by my concerns as an American citizen and taxpayer, and not by any residual personal animus from the confirmation process.
In one of my first commentaries opposing Ms. Smith’s confirmation, I promised, “We will use every legal means available to us under American law to question Smith’s official actions and decisions…” The fundamental purpose of my inquiry letter is to hold USAID accountable in its use of American tax dollars in a country whose “government” has a proven history of “using aid as a weapon of oppression” and as an insidious tool of corruption. Continue reading USAID and Famine in Ethiopia: What Does Gayle E. Smith Have to Say?→
A biblical hunger crisis is unfolding in Ethiopia that is like no other in history of this drought-stricken country. Malnutrition, hunger, and lack of water have resulted in a state rife with individuals deemed “food insecure,” with numbers officially reaching the tens of millions.
No one predicted the Arab Spring when it exploded on December 18, 2010 sparking the Tunisian Revolution. No one could have predicted a street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi would set himself on fire to protest harassment, abuse and humiliation by local municipal and police authorities and trigger a revolution to transform the Middle East and North Africa.