PM Appreciates US Government Support (May 09, 2020)

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appreciated the multifaceted support the US government provided for Ethiopia to fight COVID-19

He wrote: “I appreciate the multifaceted support the US Government is providing to Ethiopia in mitigating the adverse effects of COVID-19. It is through partnerships and collective leadership that we will all overcome.”

The Embassy of the United States in Ethiopia yesterday announced that the government has committed over 37 million USD to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Ethiopia. 

It said the US government is working closely with partners from Ministry of Health, Ministry of Peace, Ethiopia Public Health Institute, and the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) to alleviate the impact of the virus.

Ethiopia Diaspora Trust Fund (EDTF) Responds to the Ethiopian National COVID-19 Mitigation Campaign with USD 1.173 Million Worth of Personal Protective Equipment Addis Ababa: 04 May 2020

Following agreement with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health (MoH), the Ethiopian Diaspora Trust Fund (EDTF) has procured Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) and related medical supplies worth USD 1.173 million to safeguard the well-being of frontline health personnel working to save lives across Ethiopia in the campaign against COVID-19.

EDTF recognizes COVID-19 is an existential threat to the wellbeing and livelihood of the Ethiopian people, particularly the most disadvantaged segments of the population EDTF is established to serve.

Immediately after the establishment of the EDTF Emergency COVID-19 Mitigation window/subaccount on 4 April 2020, EDTF formed an Implementation Committee (IC) to liaise with the MoH/Ministry of Finance (MoF) regarding the items and supplies needed to combat the pandemic and undertake the required steps to secure the supplies. The EDTF IC managed to conduct an expedited international competitive solicitation which resulted in the procurement of the items and supplies listed below from SNS Global Pharma Corporation.

Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam, Chairperson of the EDTF Advisory Council, stated “EDTF is doing everything possible to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic impact in Ethiopia. We allocated USD1million initial start-up from the EDTF ongoing fund and mobilized an additional USD 130 thousand to-date under a new EDTF COVID-19 Mitigation subaccount. EDTF’s support will be used by the front-line health care staff in hospitals around the country but targeting in particular those hospitals and health facilities in more disadvantaged areas. I thank once again the Ethiopian Diaspora in 93 countries that continue to contribute to EDTF helping it finance critical needs of disadvantaged Ethiopians.”

IMF Approves $411m in Emergency Assistance to Ethiopia (May 01, 2020)

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved yesterday $411 million to help Ethiopia meet the urgent balance of payment needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also approved a re-phasing of disbursements under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and Extended Financing Facility (EFF) arrangements that have been supporting Ethiopia’s economic reform program since December 2019, and a reduction in access under the EFF arrangement, to maximize financial support under the RFI.

In addition, Ethiopia will benefit from the board decision of April 13, 2020 to provide debt service relief to the poorest and most vulnerable countries that are eligible for grant assistance under the catastrophe containment and relief trust (CCRT), said IMF in a statement.

As a result, the board yesterday approved Ethiopia’s request for relief under the CCRT on debt service falling due to the IMF until October 13, 2020 of about $12 million. This relief could be extended up to April 13, 2022, subject to the availability of resources under the CCRT.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created severe health risks and weighed heavily on the Ethiopian economy. If the pandemic is not contained, it will put severe pressure on the health system with devastating social consequences. On the economic front, a fall in demand for exports, combined with domestic containment measures will slow growth and weaken external and fiscal accounts.

The authorities have taken strong actions to contain the health impact by implementing a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers entering the country, improving testing and containment capacity, strengthening epidemic response coordination and adopting a state of emergency to limit movement and gatherings and facilitate social distancing.

Implementation of expenditures to strengthen the health system and address food security challenges are welcome and will help contain the spread of the virus and support the poor and most vulnerable.

The IMF continues to monitor Ethiopia’s situation closely and stands ready to provide policy advice and financial support as needed.

Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director and Chair, said “Ethiopia showed good progress under the extended arrangements with the Fund, which aim to address external vulnerabilities and transition to a private sector-led growth model.

“The authorities remain committed to the reform program. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant adverse impact on the economy and created urgent fiscal and balance of payments needs.

“The authorities have moved decisively to contain the spread of the virus and manage the economic fallout from the global downturn and the needed health-related measures.

“The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) has appropriately provided liquidity to banks to maintain financial stability. Once the crisis abates, monetary policy will need to be tightened significantly to achieve the single-digit inflation objective. Strong efforts are needed to address the real overvaluation of the exchange rate, allowing the exchange rate to act as a shock absorber.

“Fund emergency support under the Rapid Financing Instrument and debt relief under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust would help address balance of payments pressures and create fiscal space for essential pandemic-related expenditures. Participation in the G20 debt relief initiative could provide additional resources to respond to the pandemic.”

The Newly – Appointed Ethiopian Ambassador Presented credential to President Donald Trump (Jan 24, 2018)

Since Diplomatic relations between the United States and Ethiopia were established on December 27, 1903, Ethiopia has been appointing its Ambassadors to conduct and strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries. At present, the United States and Ethiopia have close diplomatic relationships as friends and partners. Their bilateral relations anchored on three interconnected pillars: economic growth and development; regional peace and security as well as democracy, governance and human rights. As part of the long standing tradition, H.E. Ambassador Kassa Tekeleberhane, the newly – appointed Ambassador of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the United States of America presented his credential to President Donald Trump on 24 January 2017 at the White House. It is believed that the appointment of H.E. Ambassador Kassa Tekeleberhane would further elevate the strategic partnership of the two countries to the new level in the spirit of mutual respect and friendship.more

Dr. Workneh briefs the press on the 30th AU Summit (Jan 23, 2018)

Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu made a press briefing on the 30th AU Summit today (January 23, 2018). Dr. Workneh said Ethiopia is set to host the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) themed under “Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”. The Minister said the summit will take place at the A.U. Headquarters in Addis Ababa and is scheduled to continue till January 29, 2018. He also highlighted that four key agendas, including AU reform, financing African Union, trade between African countries and inclusive development are set to take central stage in the deliberations of the Leaders’ Summit. more

Ethiopian Orthodox Christians celebrate Ketera today (Jan 18, 2018)

Ethiopian Orthodox Christians will celebrate Ketera, the eve of Timket (Ethiopian Epiphany) today. The celebration involves taking out the Tabots, which symbolizes the Ark of the Covenant, from the churches to sites where the next day’s celebration will take place. The Tabots, entirely covered in silk decorated clothing, are placed on the heads of priests, who parade the streets slowly. The priests, outfitted in ceremonial clothing, are escorted by the singing crowd as they make their way to the baptism location. Timket will be celebarted the next day, every January 19th (January 20 during leap year). The celebration is to commemorate Christ’s baptism. more

PM Hailemariam arrives in Cairo for JMC meeting (Jan 17, 2018)

A high-level Ethiopian delegation led by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has arrived in Cairo to attend the six joint ministerial commission meeting which is being held for the first time at the level of heads of state. more

Ethiopia releases suspects, including Dr Merera Gudina (Jan 17, 2018)

Ethiopia today released 115 suspects who were detained at the federal level. Among the released suspects include Dr Merera Gudina and Dr Rufael Disasa. more

Ethiopia secures over $1.8bln from tourism (Jan 09, 2018)

Ethiopia has earned more than 1.8 billion US dollars from tourism in the first half of this Ethiopian fiscal year, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MoCT). A total of 485,806 foreign tourists have visited the country during the past six months, said Hirut Woldemariam, Minister of Culture and Tourism, while presenting her ministry’s 6-month report to the House of People’s Representatives today. more

Ethiopia Cherishes Peculiar Celebration of Gena (Jan 07, 2018)

Ethiopians celebrate many of the religious holidays in a peculiar way. Among thos holidays celebrated in a unique way is Christmas or Gena. Unlike countries that follow Gregorian calendar Ethiopians celebrate Gena on 7 January. Though the way they celebrate may vary in the context of various cultural settings, Orthodox Christians in central and Eastern Europe and other parts of the world celebrate Christmas on January 7 like Ethiopians. Christmas is a day for feasting and enjoying the company of friends and family members. The celebration of Gena includes a mass at all churches after midnight. The celebration at the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela is unique. Christmas is celebrated in a very peculiar and attractive ways due to the birth date of King Lalibela, who constructed the historic and mesmerizing churches, being on similar day. more