The Minister of Finance Briefed the Development Partners Group (DPG) Executive CommitteeDec. 21, 2020
Monday, December 21, 2020: H.E. Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance of Ethiopia joined by H.E. Muferiat Kamil, Minister of Peace briefed the Development Partners Group (DPG) Executive Committee members on measures being taken by the government to ensure peace and the return to normalcy after the end of the law enforcement operation in Tigray region. In this aspect, the Minister reaffirmed that the operation was carried out in the shortest time possible and with the utmost care for the lives of civilians. The Minister also expressed his appreciation for the support being given by the development partners in supporting the Government of Ethiopia to execute its efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to all affected people and called upon all DPG members to stand with Ethiopia, an anchor of peace in the Horn of Africa.
In his briefing, the Minister said Tigray regional state is on its path to return to normalcy with measures being taken to rebuild the infrastructure and restore transport, water, electricity, and communications services in the region that was damaged because of the irresponsible and criminal clique. He also said the destruction of infrastructure has affected the humanitarian response to the community requiring the Government to build makeshift bridges to make the supply of food and medicine available in some parts of the Tigray region
H.E. Ato Ahmed also explained the critical progress being made by the interim administration in Tigray in terms of establishing its bureaucratic structure in various cities of the region from the kebele to the upper structure creating room for improved access and execution of humanitarian support to the region. He also said 84 % of civil servants in Mekelle have returned to work. The Minister in this aspect applauded the stand taken by the African Union in recognizing the bold steps to preserve the unity stability and respect for the constitutional order of Ethiopia. Furthermore, the Minister informed the government’s readiness to embark rapid assessment that will serve as a bases to design a comprehensive recovery and peacebuilding program for Tigray region.
Furthermore, H.E. Muferiat Kamil, Minister of Peace, said her Ministry in coordination with the UN has been implementing the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Tigray and affected vicinity in Amhara and Afar regions and that this will continue following the established platform. She emphasized that most of life in Tigray is returning to normal as efforts to ensure the availability of commodities in the local market is being made, banking service has resumed in some weredas and the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) also continues to coordinate the humanitarian access clearances through deploying a team. The NDRMC has also started delivering humanitarian assistance aiming to addressed to more than 1.8 million people in the regional state.
NDRMC Commissioner Mitiku Kassa, expressed his appreciation of the long-term partnership between NDRMC and the DPG members. He also encouraged and emphasized going forward that all development and humanitarian partners need to work in their clusters to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure a more effective approach. Furthermore, Agency for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) Deputy Director-General Addisu Kebenessa, presented the government’s joint effort with WFP and other partners which aims to address food distribution to about 70% of refugees in the region. This effort particularly addresses Adu Harush and Maye Ayeni camps while work is underway to deliver support in the remaining two camps.
On the other hand, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Dr. Catherine Sozi said that a team on the ground is carrying out humanitarian need assessment. This assessment, which is expected to be completed before the end of December, will determine the exact need on the ground and resources requirements to ensure delivery of much-needed assistance to affected people. In this aspect, Dr. Sozi thanked donors who have mobilized additional resources and also made efforts to reallocate resources to meet those needs and highlighted the gap that still require additional support. The opening of banks was also noted as an important step to ensure the humanitarian workers can carry out their duties.
Dr. Sozi also called upon DAG members to continue their support for the government of Ethiopia as it upholds its responsibilities to assist refugees and other vulnerable populations in the country.
The meeting also addressed additional steps to be taken following the humanitarian assistance, including the rehabilitation of efforts for peace, continued rebuilding of development in sectors such as education, water, health, reenergizing the private sector, and the reconstruction of infrastructure for the recovery of the region.
The meeting was concluded with H.E Ahmed Shide, emphasizing the strong need for collaboration with our development partners to unlock the challenges and to continue the comprehensive reform the government have already started for the betterment of its people. He underlined the importance of continued and transparent update from the government side on current situations. He also stressed the importance of verifying information from other sources before use.
The Development Partners Group (DPG) comprises 30 bilateral and multilateral development partners. The main objective of DPG is to foster policy dialogue and harmonize development partners' support for effective implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the national development plan and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Ethiopia.