In Ethiopia, Aid Used to Buy Weapons

    International aid helped save a lot lives during the Ethiopian famine from 1984 to 1985 but not all of this aid reached the victims it intended to help, BBC reports. The news agency notes there is evidence that a huge chunk of this aid was diverted to rebel groups, which used the money to support their attempts at overthrowing the Ethiopian government. A former rebel told BBC that up to USD95 million worth of aid from Western governments and nonprofits was channeled to rebels. The rebels posted as merchants and sold grains to the aid workers to get hold of the money, BBC reports. The rebel group involved is reportedly the one headed by Meles Zenawi, the country’s ruling prime minister.

    About the author

    • Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.