EU climate aid to Ethiopia raises eyebrows

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Jan. 31 (UPI) — The European community will give Ethiopia a $17.8 million grant to build a carbon-neutral economy, the European commissioner for development said.

European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs met Monday with Ethiopian Finance Minister Sufian Ahmed to discuss a grant to implement the Global Climate Change Alliance in the country.

The European Commission said the primary objective of the GCCA is to build a carbon neutral and climate resilient economy in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is one of the largest recipients of European development aid. Europe also represents one of the largest export markets for Ethiopian goods.

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The GCCA program aims to build a healthy climate relationship between the European community and developing countries that the commission said were the most vulnerable to climate change.

Human Rights Watch called on European leaders to pressure Ethiopia to address alleged misuse of development aid. The rights group said international financial assistance to Ethiopia has increased along with political repression in the country.

“Government services, funded by the European Union and other donors, are administered in a partisan way so that essential agricultural inputs, land, and even food for work programs are used as tools to reward loyal supporters and punish the families of members of the opposition, with serious humanitarian consequences,” the rights group said in a statement.

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