The EU is considering freezing an €90 million budgetary support to Ethiopia after it launched an attack against rebels in the northern Tigray region last month.
“The EU will take further decisions on budget support for Ethiopia in light of developments on the ground and based on a specific request by the government,” a spokesperson for the European Commission, told Bloomberg. She added that “no decision has been made yet as to a potential €90 million budget support measure before the end of the year.”
The news agency added that the European Union officials, who are meeting later in the month to discuss the €90 million transfer may delay the funding, because of the impact the violence has had on human rights.
The bloc’s Crisis Commissioner, Janez Lenarcic flew on Tuesday to Ethiopia, to urge Peace Minister Muferiat Kamil to end a blockade on international aid organisations accessing Tigray and to secure unrestricted access for humanitarian workers to all areas affected by fighting, while on Wednesday he is traveling to neighbouring Sudan, which dozens of thousands of refugees are reaching, in a bid to find shelter.
In late November, the European Commission announced it would mobilise an initial €4 million for emergency assistance to Ethiopians fleeing the country due to the conflict in Tigray region. The financial assistance is earmarked for NGOs and UN agencies in Kassala and Gedarif states in eastern Sudan, which have been worst-hit by the sudden influx of refugee arrivals.
Since the conflict in the Tigray region erupted earlier in November, the two states in Sudan have received more than 29,000 Ethiopian refugees. According to reports, tens of thousands of refuges are crossing the border from Ethiopia to Sudan and are currently located at the Hamdayet Reception Center.