Monday, May 18, 2009
Nasdaq reports that the World Bank extended $540 million to develop basic services in Ethiopia and stated that the country should ease its regulations on NGOs. Ethiopia adopted a controversial aid law early this year, under which any local group drawing more than 10% of its funding from abroad would be classified as foreign and subjected to tight government control. The classification would effectively ban such associations from working on issues related to ethnicity, gender, children's rights, and conflict resolution. The $540 million is meant for basic services covering education, health, agriculture, water, and road projects under a three-year scheme. The World Bank replaced its former scheme of direct budgetary support to Ethiopia soon after the disputed 2005 parliamentary elections there, which foreign observers said fell short of international standards.