ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopia wants to pass a supplementary budget worth 122 billion birr ($2.5 billion) to help finance programmes to rebuild areas destroyed by war and provide humanitarian aid, the finance ministry said on Thursday.
The budget is much larger than previously reported in the heavily indebted country. The government-affiliated media outlet Fana said on Monday that the government was seeking a $102 million supplementary budget “to be used for rehabilitation of people affected by war and conflict”. “The additional budget will be spent on security of the country, humanitarian aid … and other necessary government works,” the ministry said in a statement on its Facebook page.
The request will have to be approved by parliament which is expected to give its approval, but the ministry did not say how the money would be raised. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the federal government and its allies have been at war for more than a year. The ongoing conflict has killed thousands and displaced millions.
Among those who have borne the brunt of the conflict are humanitarian workers. The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said in a statement on Thursday that one of its staff members had been killed in northern Ethiopia, but gave no details.
Filippo Grandi, the head of UNHCR, tweeted that the staff member had been killed on Dec. 28.