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Ethiopia: Foreign Relations

Volume 508: debated on Monday 22 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what aims and objectives he has set for UK foreign policy in respect of Ethiopia. (323369)

Ethiopia is one of the world's poorest countries, and a high priority for development. The UK's development programme aims to reduce poverty in Ethiopia, and to support progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. Encouraging progress has been made in recent years. In financial year 2009-10, the Department for International Development has provided over £200 million. Working in partnership with the Ethiopian Government, this has been used to support humanitarian relief, help expand public services, support improvements in governance, and stimulate growth.

The development of an open, democratic political system is an important objective for UK work in Ethiopia. The British Government are working with all parties to address concerns around political space, with the aim that Ethiopian elections in May are as good as possible. The UK is concerned by aspects of the human rights situation in Ethiopia and we are working with a range of partners to address these.

The British and Ethiopian Governments collaborate on regional priorities including Sudan, all parts of Somalia, and on migration and counter-terrorism. Ethiopia is a key partner on international climate change work, and has provided an important African leadership role.