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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Donor Group Reviews Aid to Ethiopia

Monsters and Critics.com -- Addis Ababa - The Development Assistance Group (DAG) said Saturday it was reviewing development cooperation with Ethiopia to ensure aid contributions reached the poor.

A statement posted on its internet web site said the review was necessitated by concern 'about political disturbances in the country last week and the effects that these may have on sustainable development for the country.'

Authorities announced Friday the release of more than 2,400 people detained in Addis Ababa last week when nearly 50 people died in violent clashes between security forces and protesters demonstrating against alleged vote rigging by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's ruling EPRDF party in parliamentary elections in mid May.

The DAG said the disturbances 'weaken the environment for aid effectiveness and poverty reduction, jointly built between the government and the donor community over the past few years.'

This was against the background of chronic poverty and a looming shock-related to oil prices, the DAG said and noted its mandate of sustainable development in Ethiopia.

The group expressed sadness at the deaths and injuries during last week's clashes.

The DAG in Ethiopia comprises the African Development Bank (ADB), Austria, Belgium, Canada, Britain, the European Commission Delegation, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United States and the World Bank.

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