Tigray's Disaster Risk Management Commissioner Gebrehiwet Gebrezgabher has reported that at least 1,411 people have starved to death in the war-torn northern region of Ethiopia since food aid was halted about four months ago.
He stressed that the death toll could be even higher as data has only been collated from three out of Tigray's six zones — the east, north-west, and south-east — so far.
It would be understandable that major donors decided to halt food aid delivery following news of large-scale theft involving Ethiopian government officials if they were seeking a quick fix to this deliberate mismanagement of the system. However, it hasn't been restored after several months, and vulnerable civilians are the ones being punished as they remain without access to basic nutrition.
Taxpayer-funded assistance to foreign countries must not be confused with charity, as it's a tool that must be wisely used to support the national interest and produce real results for Americans. As a criminal network comprised of both sides of the Tigray conflict was outrageously playing the US for a fool by stealing food aid, it would be unacceptable for Washington to keep wasting its limited resources.
There's a 35% chance that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will experience a significant leadership disruption before 2025, according to the Metaculus prediction community.