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News: Ethiopia’s wars devour more than $28 b in economic loss, damages; $20 b needed for reconstruction

Leterbrhan, A a Tigrayan mother from Humera in Western Tigray, lies with her five-year-old daughter in a small room where around 20 people sleep at the elementary school in Abi Adi, a town in central Tigray. Photo: Igor Barbero/MSF/March 2021

Addis Abeba – Authorities estimated the economic loss and cost of damages to infrastructure due to Ethiopia’s wars to have reached some US$28.765.7 billion, while they estimate post-war reconstruction cost to be as high as US$20 billion, according to the Ministry of Finance.

This was revealed by a study conducted in collaboration with universities and covering war-affected areas with the aim to asses the economic losses and damages to social- such as education and health; productivity including agriculture, industry and trade; as well as infrastructure, mainly transport, electricity and water.

Although a two-year-war has destroyed mainly the Tigray region, and severely affected Afar and Amhara regional states after it spread to both in the first half of 2021, hardly any region has escaped militarized violence over the past five years. Active fighting in the Tigray region was brought to an end with a permanent cessation of hostilities agreement signed between the federal government and TPLF nine months ago in November 2022, but wars and conflicts continued mainly in the Oromia region, where the government continued fighting against Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) despite a promising first round talk, and Amhara region, where militarized conflicts in various areas flared up following the government’s attempt to restructure regional forces. Other regions, mainly Gambella, Benshangul Gumuz, Somali and SNNP regional states have also experienced various forms of militarized conflicts over the course of the fast five years.

A consultation forum was held in Hyatt Regency Hotel in the capital Addis Abeba on Monday where the results of the study was discussed in the presence of Ethiopia’s development partners, mainly from western countries, and UN organizations including the UNDP.

At the event, the government has announced a US$ 20 billion worth program for the next five years to rebuild the war-affected areas, according to the Ministry of Finance.

Acknowledging the cost to be above the government’s capacity to pay, Ahmed Shide, the Minister of Finance, has called on “stakeholders and development partners to contribute to the success of the program.” AS

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