News: EU to provide €81.5 to support vulnerable Ethiopians; stresses improving humanitarian access, restoring services in Tigray

Prime Minister Abiy with Charles Michel during the EU-AU Summit on 17-18 February 2022. Picture: EU/Archive

Addis Abeba – Charles Michel, President of the European Council, said that the EU was finalizing “measures worth €81.5 million to support the basic needs of vulnerable population of Ethiopia.”

Mr. Michael and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed held a telephone conversation Monday 04 July “to follow-up on their meeting in the margins of the AU-EU Summit and on the recent visit of Commissioner Lenarčič to the country.”

The “recent visit” to Ethiopia Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, in charge of European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, took place on 20 -21 June, and included a visit to the capital of Tigray state, Mekelle, and meeting with Tigray state President Debretsion Gebremichael (Dr.) Up on his retrun from Mekelle, Commissioner Lenarčič said that “Tigrayans have suffered enough.”

“Much of the blockade of Tigray still remains. The desperate situation requires urgent scaling up so that humanitarian workers can deliver assistance to all in need. Fuel is much needed. Basic services for the population need to be restored,” he tweeted.

According to a readout of Monday’s telephone conversation, “President Charles Michel took note of the recent efforts to improve humanitarian access in Tigray since the humanitarian truce. President Michel stressed that these efforts should be increased and sustained, notably via alternative roads and restoration of basic services, notably telecommunications. The President also highlighted that fuel and fertilizers are urgently needed to fight food insecurity which is a major consequence of Russia’s war in Ukraine.”

Furthermore, the two also “discussed relations with Sudan and negotiations with partners on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Damn (GERD),” according to the readout.

It’s recalled that following the last meeting held on 20 June, the Council of the European Union, has said that although there is “some progress” in Ethiopia, it is “not enough for the full normalization” relationships between the EU and Ethiopia.

Speaking after the meeting, Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President, the situation in Ethiopia was “the big discussion.” The Council believes “there is some progress but not enough for the full normalization of our relationship.” AS

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