UK scraps £5 million foreign aid for Ethiopia’s “Spice Girls”

Photo: Daily Mail

ESAT News (January 6, 2017)

Britain says it has ended millions of dollars in funding for an Ethiopian girl band, amid growing criticism at home of overseas aid, the Associated Press reported.

Yegna, sometimes called “Ethiopia’s Spice Girls,” addresses women’s issues in the East African country.

The Associated Press quoted a statement Friday from the Department for International Development as saying empowering women and girls remains a priority for Britain, but there are more effective ways to invest UK aid.

The move comes after reports of the band receiving another $6.3 million.

The five-member band uses a radio show and music and drama productions to create awareness about forced marriage, violence, teen pregnancy and dropping out of school. This event, co-hosted by HMHB, includes a free seminar for pregnant mothers on basics like how to sterilize a baby bottle and other motherhood guides for those expecting.

The telegraph reported that Priti Patel, the International Development Secretary, has now moved to end the funding amid concerns that it is not value for money.

The Girl Effect project that launched Yegna confirms the British decision. Chief executive Farah Ramzan Golant says, “New ideas are often resisted and sometimes willfully misrepresented.”