USAID brands Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed a liar, says ‘terrifying findings’ show that 900,000 people in Tigray now suffering from horrific famine as crisis grows more dire and threatens the lives of millions

The United States Agency for International development (USAID) has contradicted Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali who claimed this week that “there is no hunger in Tigray.”

USAID Administrator Samantha Power in an unprecedented tweet blasted the embattled Ethiopian leader for spreading misinformation.

She said contrary to his claims, there are up to 900,000 people suffering from famine conditions and millions more at risk in Tigray as the crisis worsens and humanitarian aid continues to be blocked.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, who now leads the U.S. Agency for International Development, gives an opening statement at her U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, DC, U.S., March 23, 2021. Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS 
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, who now leads the U.S. Agency for International Development, gives an opening statement at her U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, DC, U.S., March 23, 2021. Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS

“We now believe up to 900,000 people are facing famine conditions, with millions more at risk,” said Power via Twitter. “PM Abiy said this week “there is no hunger in Tigray.” This is false: critical aid is being blocked & prevented from saving lives.”

The United States has on multiple occasions called for the immediate cessation of hostilities in Tigray and the complete withdrawal of Eritrean troops from the region- a demand that has not been met with cooperation.

As the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments continue to dismiss pleas from the international community to cease hostilities and cooperate with humanitarian efforts to the region, the crisis in Tigray grows worse and threatens long-term food security in the region.

Since the conflict first started in November, the United States has taken an increasingly firm stance of condemnation and concern for the crisis in Tigray.

Yet, many people continue to call for more action and an even bolder position as many believe that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the Ethiopian government have proven to be uncooperative with efforts to resolve issues peaceably despite the growing number of men, women, and children facing starvation.

Noah Pitcher is a global politics correspondent for Today News Africa covering the U.S. government, United Nations, African Union, and other actors involved in international developments, political controversies, and humanitarian issues.

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