Paul Lewis, "West to Resume Farm Aid to Ethiopia," The New York Times, February 6, 1988.

Main Point

The World Bank and several Western nations have agreed to resume agricultural aid to Ethiopia in coordination with changes to Ethiopian agricultural policies.

The United States, the World Bank, the European Community and other donors had suspended or reduced agricultural developmental aid in protest to the Marxist's Government policies. "The agricultural policies to which aid donors objected included the creation of Soviet-style collective farms, the forced resettlement of peasants, a Government monopoly of the food trade and the setting of artificially low food prices that gave farmers no incentive to increase output." Even the Soviet Union has encouraged the policy changes.

In the West, the policy change is seen as a success to connect aid with "market-oriented policies that encourage farmers and businesses to increase production." Pressure from countries and a second famine of the decade caused the government to change its policies. Ethiopia has increased the price paid to farmers for part of their grain harvest and allowed them to sell the rest, allowing a free market to develop inside the country.

The World Bank expects to provide $30 million to $50 million a year and the European Community another $80 million. The United States is not included in any aid package. U.S. law restricts aid to Ethiopia due to its poor human rights record.

Mark Cardenas