CCRDA to disburse USD 2.3 mln to support victims of attack
The Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Association (CCRDA) signed an agreement with the North American Union of the Kahins to distribute USD 2.3 million to support victims of the post Hachalu Hundessa protests in Oromia. The agreement was signed on Tuesday, October 27, 2020.
Hachalu Hundessa, assassinated on June 29, 2020, was a prominent artist who was viewed as a symbol of the struggle against the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).
Speaking at the signing of the agreement, CCRDA’s Executive Director, Negussu Legesse (PhD) indicated that the support was mobilized from people living in the US and will be disbursed to the people affected by the widespread protests across Oromia. He also said that they have visited people who have lost properties during the protests, who are currently sheltered in Churches as well as neighbors’ houses.
“We have seen people in shelters without anything to eat or drink. It is the community that is helping them. This support will be disbursed to the affected people through Bunna International Bank.
The coordinator of the support in the US, Mesfin Tegegne (PhD), said this is not enough to help people recover from the problems they have faced and more will follow as they found out the problem on the ground was much more than they had heard.
“There are still people who are concerned for their safety. It is the federal and regional governments that should ensure this,” he stressed.
Explaining why they partnered with CCRDA, Mesfin said that the Consortium is the only institution with years of experience that can also provide with the proper auditing and financial reporting schemes to ensure that the money is well spent. He further went on to explain that the Consortium also fulfills the requirements by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The need for such partnership was born out of a legal battle the coordinators went through to prove that the money collected will not be used to finance terrorism, as claimed by their accusers, Mesfin added.
The number of people who would receive the monetary support is not yet finalized since it keeps growing from time to time and needs clarification and identification of real victims, Negussu said. The original plan was to help about 2170 households but the number has now increased because of the return of people who fled to other areas, on account of hearing about a support program to reinstitute them.
“We are verifying the information we have. The disbursement along with the verification is planned to be completed within six months,” he said.
Apart from the monetary support, there will be other supports like psychological and mental health support for people who have endured watching gruesome acts. There are children who still could not sleep after four months since the incident, he said.
World Vision Ethiopia’s National Director, Edward Brown, a board director of CCRDA, told The Reporter that along with CCRDA, they have been working with the Ethiopian Diaspora, especially the Global Alliance for the Rights of Ethiopians (GARE).
“We are all very excited with the prospects of the Diaspora community contributing to peace and the development of Ethiopia,” Brown said.
The need for the money is indispensable and the most important prerequisite to development is peace; without peace there can’t be prosperity, he opined adding that they have made this their priority.
“We are continuing to do emergency response and we continue to do development. But until we can address the root causes of conflicts, conflicts can undermine all the progress that has been made over the years in Ethiopia. So, it is absolutely the highest priority,” he stressed.