Ethiopia slams food aid suspension, says it 'punishes millions'
It has come to the Ethiopian government's knowledge that the food aid was only being diverted from those who need it.
The Ethiopian government chastised two large charity organizations on Saturday for stopping the delivery of food supplies to the nation after learning that it was being misdirected away from those in need.
Legesse Tulu, a spokesperson for the Ethiopian government, told journalists that the World Food Programme's decision "punishes millions".
The WFP announced on Friday that it would temporarily stop just partial food aid supplies.
The decision will have an impact on millions of Ethiopians who are experiencing severe food shortages as a result of a terrible war in the Tigray region in the north and a punishing drought that has also affected sections of Somalia and Kenya.
The aid organizations used the claim that shipments were being diverted to local markets as a pretext to announce last month that they would halt food aid to Tigray.
No organization has located the individuals who stole the aid and sold it.
Commenting on the decision, Tulu said it was "political", adding that "to make the government only responsible (for the diversions) is unacceptable."
The Ethiopian government, in a statement on Friday, expressed its commitment to addressing the "deeply concerning revelations of food aid diversion."
According to the UN's humanitarian agency (OCHA), some 20 million people in Ethiopia need food help due to conflict and drought.
Nearly a million refugees, largely from South Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea, are being hosted in Ethiopia.
Since the middle of April, about 30,000 people who were escaping the current war in Sudan had taken asylum there.