The United States Agency for International Development (USAid) has denied allegations that it has provided food aid to fighters of the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF).
This follows several reports in local media in Ethiopia implicating aid agencies in providing humanitarian assistance to the rebels.
According to local media, nutritious foods intended for children and mothers have been provided to TPLF and allied fighters.
Local reports said a recently captured TPLF fighter was in possession of biscuits that are usually distributed by USAid.
USAid, however, said this doesn't mean it made a direct supply as such goods could have been stolen from people in need.
“USAid rejects any accusation that food assistance is knowingly or willingly given to soldiers,” said a statement from the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, posted on its social media page.
USAid said “it monitors food distributions to ensure we are supporting the neediest, not combatants.”
“However, it is a reality that in conflict areas armed actors often steal food from those in need.”
According to Aid agencies, thousands of people are at risk of starvation in the Tigray.
“For the first time in nine months of conflict in Tigray, aid workers will run out of food to distribute this week,” Samantha Power, USAid Administrator, wrote on her Twitter page last weekend.
She said 100 trucks must arrive daily in order to meet the humanitarian needs in the Tigray region, but delievery of the aid has been disrupted.
“From July 1 until this week, 320 trucks actually made it – less than 7 percent of what’s required,” she added.
USAid is Ethiopia’s largest donor of life-saving food and care. The agency says it is currently feeding roughly 7 percent of Ethiopia’s citizens in various parts of the country.