After Meeting with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn
August 30, 2017
Administrator Green: It is an honor to be here today, and I’d like to thank the Prime Minister and all the Ethiopian people for your hospitality.
My visit is part of a long relationship between our two countries. Today we had a frank and honest discussion about a broad range of issues, including the United States’ commitment to standing with the people of Ethiopia, as they experience a third consecutive year of drought.
USAID is committed to helping Ethiopia leverage its human and economic capital, and to harness the power of Ethiopian farms and entrepreneurs to create a more economically prosperous and food-secure Ethiopia. This is why, yesterday, I announced that Ethiopia will be a target country for the next phase of Feed the Future. We look forward to partnering with Ethiopia on Feed the Future venture.
As I told the Prime Minister, I recognize that Ethiopia has immediate humanitarian needs, as well. Yesterday, during my visit to the Somali region, which is experiencing near famine-like conditions, I saw the dire need for food assistance. That’s why, in addition to Feed the Future, I’m also announcing $91 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the people of Ethiopia. This funding will provide additional emergency food assistance and vital medical care. The U.S. has now provided more than $450 billion* in humanitarian assistance to the people of Ethiopia during this fiscal year.
I applauded the Prime Minister for his government’s response to the 2015-2016 drought, and I urged him to provide a commensurate level of funding and attention to the current drought. The United States will continue providing assistance for vulnerable people, but we all agree host-country partners must be willing to step up during crises, and the Prime Minister indicated that he was looking to do so. I also noted the importance of assistance resources being used for their intended purpose.
I urged the Government of Ethiopia to take concrete steps to create political space for all voices to be heard and to uphold constitutionally guaranteed rights.
Finally, we talked about Ethiopia’s growing power sector. As this country’s economy expands, it will require a reliable and robust energy infrastructure to fuel the growth.
I thank the Prime Minister again for his hospitality today, and I thank the people of Ethiopia for your hospitality today.