Ethiopia at a glance
Blurring the Boundaries Between Relief and Development
Ethiopia has yet to achieve stability and self-sufficiency, despite the billions of dollars of development funding and humanitarian aid provided every year by external donors. The regime severely curtails access to internal conflict areas, controls the final distribution of aid and plays down the number of people in need of relief. Most humanitarian organisations interviewed in this year’s field mission find donors’ tolerance of these autocratic practices unacceptable and in conflict with principled aid policies. NGOs have voiced their condemnation and have, as a consequence, suffered difficulties in gaining access to certain areas and population groups. Although donors get around restrictions by funding operations that are wider than the published requirements, they could undoubtedly do more to preserve and promote the GHD Principles. Donors’ responses to access limitations have also been uneven. This lack of a common approach is unfortunate, and likely to have reduced the ability of the international community to influence the government. The survey did, however, capture specific examples of good practice of donors being very creative and adapting to the situation, which could be transferable to other protracted crises.