Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia Demeke Mekonnen receives at his office UNDP Regional Director for Africa Ahunna Eziakonwa (February 8, 2021)

H.E. Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia had a meeting today (February 08) with H.E. Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa.

During the meeting, the two have discussed, among others, cooperation between Ethiopia and UNDP, the humanitarian situation in the Tigray region, and the ongoing preparation for the upcoming election.

Appreciating the UN support to help Ethiopia achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Mr. Demeke briefed the UNDP official on the Homegrown economic reform agenda in Ethiopia and the impact of COVID-19 on the implementation of the SDGs.

In their discussion about the situation in Tigray, Mr. Demeke said the operation is over by now and the focus of the government has shifted to delivering humanitarian assistance to affected people, rehabilitating and reconstructing destroyed infrastructures by the renegade group.

He said the government of Ethiopia is working in unison with the UN and other aid agencies by establishing 92 distribution centers in Tigray where a significant number of people have been reached for assistance.

The Minister thanked the concern of humanitarian agencies to help the affected people and urged them to increase tangible supports, adding that it would be beneficial to all stakeholders to follow the guidelines of the government of Ethiopia in the humanitarian assistance process to register better and effective results.

Following Mr. Demeke’s briefing on the preparations for the upcoming elections in Ethiopia, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa said UNDP would implement the project it has started to strengthen the capacity of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) in organizing a credible, inclusive, and peaceful elections.

She finally thanked the Deputy Prime Minister for the briefing and pledged that the support to Ethiopia’s development efforts would continue.

At the meeting, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa was accompanied by UN Resident Coordinator and UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Ethiopia, H.E. Dr. Catherine Sozi.

During her stay in Ethiopia, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa is expected to meet senior government officials with the possibility of paying a visit to Mekelle.

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