World Bank signs off $1.3bn aid package for Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA – The World Bank has signed a $1.3billion (R17.5bn) loan and grant agreement with Ethiopia to improve governance and fund an anti-poverty package that provides financial relief for people facing food shortages.

The bank said on Friday that a loan of $700million would be used to “improve equitable access to basic services and strengthen accountability” in education, health, agriculture and other sectors.

The remaining $600m was a grant to finance the Horn of Africa country’s “Rural Productive Safety Net” scheme, which is handing out cash or food to 8million people in exchange for participation in public development projects.

Some 8.5million people in Ethiopia need emergency food. In June, a warning was issued that Ethiopia would run out of relief food for 7.8million people hit by the drought.

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