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UAE to give Ethiopia $3 billion to ease foreign currency shortage

Staff Writer |
The United Arab Emirates pledged a total of $3 billion in aid and investments to Ethiopia on Friday, an Ethiopian official said, a major show of support for the new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed.

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The UAE will deposit $1 billion in Ethiopia’s central bank to ease a severe foreign currency shortage, government spokesman Ahmed Shide told Reuters at a palace in Addis Ababa after Abiy met with Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed.

No officials from the oil-rich Gulf state briefed journalists, but the UAE and its Gulf allies, in particular Saudi Arabia, regularly give large sums to cooperative governments in the broader region.

Despite showing the fastest growth in Africa for the past decade, the landlocked country of 100 million people is heavily dependent on imports.

A hard currency crunch caused partly by spending on big infrastructure projects has reduced foreign currency reserves to less than one month’s worth of imports, according to analysts’ estimates. Foreign investors and local businesses say all sectors of the economy have been hit.


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