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Christian Aid responds to Ethiopia allegations

The BBC has today published a story in which Christian Aid is mentioned alongside claims that aid for the 1984 famine was diverted by rebels to buy weapons. There are allegations in the story which are against all of Christian Aid’s principles and our initial investigations do not correspond to the BBC’s version of events.

Nick Guttmann, director of emergency relief operations at Christian Aid, said he was surprised at the timing of these allegations more than 25 years after the event.

'This story has to be put into context. We were working in a major conflict, there was a massive famine and people on all sides were suffering.

'Both the rebels and the government were using innocent civilians to further their own political ends.  But that is not what humanitarian agencies like ourselves were doing. We were there to help the people in the greatest need and did so.

'In all emergency relief operations, Christian Aid produces a budget which states how much food we can afford to buy and how many people this will reach. This is always followed up with monitoring visits to see the projects and account for every penny.'

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Notes to editors:

For more information and interviews, contact Sarah Wilson on 0207 523 2277, 07850 242 950 or swilson@christian-aid.org

Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the life they deserve.

Click here to read our web article about the claims.