Ethiopian government’s contradictory statements on the looming famine baffle donors

ESAT News (January 27, 2016)

Members of the diplomatic community say donors were puzzled by statements coming out of the Ethiopian government regarding the looming famine which they said contradicts the reality on the ground.

The diplomats who wish to remain anonymous said statements by the Ethiopian government that “the calamity is under control and all is well in the country,” has mystified donor countries who otherwise wish to help. They said the Ethiopian government, instead of coordinating efforts with donor agencies to get urgent aid, is engaged in a media campaign to tell the public that “there was enough food aid and the disaster was under control.”

“Donor countries were really perplexed by the government’s behavior,” the diplomats said. The statements by the Ethiopian government also violets it’s agreement with the donor community, according to the diplomats.

Optimistic economic stories being told about the country in the last 10 years had made donor countries to believe that the country could handle the situation single handedly, the diplomats said and added that the government need to tell the truth and allow the international media to report from the famine stricken regions so as to convince donors to respond to the disaster.

The diplomats worry the current state of affairs and the government’s reluctance to be forthright about the calamity could endanger the lives of some 15 million people.

Reports indicate some 3 million children have stopped going to school due to lack of drinking water and teachers were forced to close schools and leave the drought stricken localities.