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Jutta Urpilainen, EU commissioner for international partnerships calls for united response on Ethiopia

Tigrai Online Feb. 14, 2021

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The European Union’s top representative for development aid said Tuesday that the bloc needs to “plan very carefully” when it comes to Ethiopia, as Brussels continues to withhold funding from the government over the conflict in the country’s North.

In December, the European Commission postponed €88 million in planned budget support payments, with officials saying they could not give one euro to the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed until unimpeded humanitarian access is granted to the Tigray region, among other conditions.

Jutta Urpilainen, EU commissioner for international partnerships, told reporters Tuesday that another five budget support payments, together worth €100 million ($120 million), are due in 2021.

Urpilainen acknowledged as much Tuesday, also calling on the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, United Kingdom, United States, and Canada to tell Abiy that without full humanitarian access to Tigray, financial support for the government will be shut off. “What we need is this kind of international approach including all different actors in order to leverage and really make a difference,” she said.

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