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US turns to biometrics to prevent humanitarian aid theft in Ethiopia

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US turns to biometrics to prevent humanitarian aid theft in Ethiopia
 

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced that it will resume limited food aid in Ethiopia, AFP News reports. However, most operations will remain suspended due to concerns about aid diversion. USAID is currently working on expanding third-party monitoring and other reforms, including spot checks on vendors and biometric verification of recipients, with the aim of resuming full assistance in Ethiopia.

The U.S. will immediately restart food assistance at 28 camps inside Ethiopia that are home to a million refugees, following an agreement with the Ethiopian government to transfer responsibility for storing and distributing the food to aid workers at the camps.

Broader aid for Ethiopia will remain on hold as the U.S. implements additional reforms to prevent diversion.

USAID halted all food aid to Ethiopia in June, alleging widespread and coordinated diversion of donated supplies. The U.S. has not publicly named the culprits, but aid groups have blamed both the federal and regional authorities, with soldiers profiting from the resale of donated food.

The U.N.’s World Food Program has also halted aid but resumed distribution in August in the war-torn Tigray region after it implemented monitoring measures.

U.N. agencies warned in June that some 60 million people need food assistance in the Horn of Africa due to armed conflict, record droughts, and high global prices.

Despite its controversies, aid organizations are looking to the potential of biometrics to ensure food reaches those in need. This technology could be instrumental in ensuring the integrity of programs in Ethiopia and beyond.

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Comments

One Reply to “US turns to biometrics to prevent humanitarian aid theft in Ethiopia”

  1. While I work at ACF in the program Emergency Cash assistance for crisis affected population at Axum, funded by BHA I have used this device. It was amazing technology in which it completely blocks the activities of theft and other mid conducted behaviors of various organs. Except beneficiaries no one could access beneficiaries ration. It was SMART keep it up!
    Kiros
    Cash and Voucher Project Officer.

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