U.S., World Bank Group agree to “coordinate action” to “alleviate suffering” in Ethiopia’s Tigray region

The United States and the World Bank have agreed to “coordinate action” to “alleviate suffering” in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

The discussions took place on Thursday when the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power met virtually with World Bank Group (WBG) President David Malpass.

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

“They agreed to coordinate action to alleviate suffering in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, support the transitional civilian government in Sudan, and sustain support for the Afghan people,” said USAID Spokesperson Rebecca Chalif.

Chalif added that Power and Malpass also discussed “their respective COVID-19 response and recovery priorities, and the need to mobilize global partners to scale up vaccine financing, manufacturing, and readiness in partner countries.” 

“They also discussed ways to strengthen country-level coordination with the Global Financing Facility to support maternal and child health, as well as the WBG’s growing role in famine prevention, crisis preparedness and response,” said Chalif.

The crisis in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, has continued to worsen even after the government declared a unilateral ceasefire on June 28.

On Thursday, the United States once again outlined the conditions that would need to be met for a possible resolution of the crisis in the Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

USAID Administrator Power outlined what would be needed to bring out peace and stability in Ethiopia when she met virtually with Per Olsson Fridh, Minister for International Development Cooperation of Sweden. 

According to her, the focus of the United States government remains to press for humanitarian access and an end to the conflict. She said the first two steps would be followed by accountability for human rights abuses in the region.

USAID Spokesperson Rebecca Chalif said Power and Fridh “agreed to continue to press for humanitarian access to address widespread famine, as well as the cessation of hostilities and accountability for human rights violations and abuses in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.” 

They further agreed on the importance of development and humanitarian assistance to support Sudan’s transitional democracy, Chalif added.

More broadly, Power and Fridh discussed opportunities to work together to promote democracy, human rights, and independent media, especially in Eastern Europe, and expressed shared support for the Belarusian people who are standing up for democratic values and human rights. 

They noted the recent protests in Cuba due to continued human rights violations and discussed support for independent media, activists, and opposition leaders. 

“Administrator Power and Minister Olsson Fridh agreed to continue to work closely together, and with other donor partners, on COVID-19, climate change and resilience, and noted their concern for environmental defenders, especially local indigenous leaders, who are increasingly under threat and attack,” Chalif said, adding that they also discussed humanitarian and development assistance priorities in Central America and Afghanistan. 

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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