World Bank grants Ethiopia $300m for Tigray war recovery

Saturday April 16 2022

The World Bank says its grant to Ethiopia will go towards helping people begin a new life from the war. PHOTO | AFP


Ethiopia on Wednesday received a massive boost to rebuild from the Tigray war after the World Bank agreed to disburse $300 million targeted at local communities whose lives have been destroyed.

The money given under the International Development Association (IDA) is part of the bank’s Ethiopia project known as the Response-Recovery-Resilience for Conflict Communities.

It will partly go to reconstructing local facilities such as health centres and other amenities but will also help locals get assistance for effects of war, such as sexual violations and gender based violence (GBV), the bank said.

Read: Ethiopia: Rights watchdogs name 'perpetrators' of Tigray atrocities

The decision by the bank may have come as a surprise as Ethiopia is battling accusations of atrocities by its own military in the war, claims it has dismissed.

Last week, the UN approved a budget for an independent investigation by a specially assigned panel of three experts to look into the atrocities after rights watchdogs unearthed evidence of mass graves and interviewed people who claimed they had been tortured.


Improving services

By this week, there were still accusations of restricting aid into Tigray, three weeks after Ethiopia formally granted humanitarian corridors.

Read: HRW asks Ethiopia to probe Tigray 'war crime'

The World Bank grant will go into renovating damaged social facilities like schools and hospitals as well as helping people begin a new life from the war.

“To urgently meet the needs of conflict-affected communities, mobile units will be dispatched to provide key services including in the areas of education, health, water, and sanitation,” a dispatch said.

The project will begin with areas in Afar, Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, Oromia and Tigray regions “which have been highly impacted by the recent conflict and host large numbers of internally displaced peoples (IDPs),” the bank said.

Read: Ethiopia in image crisis over Tigray ‘atrocities’

“This project will help to improve access to health, psychosocial support and legal services for GBV survivors in conflict-affected regions where quality response services are limited,” Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan said on Wednesday.

Part of the money will also support long-term investments in institutions, communities and policies for the conflict-afflicted communities.