UK Foreign Aid Money for Ethiopia Girl Band Scrapped


Foreign aid earmarked for Yegna, an Ethiopian girl band has been scrapped.  Initially, Yegna received £4m and then in November 2015 a further £5m.

The idea of the girl band is to empower women across Ethiopia.  There funding, however, has now been pulled following a decision by Priti Patel, International Development Secretary.

Miss Patel said, “We have taken the decision to end our partnership following a review of the programme.

“Empowering women and girls around the world remains a priority, but we judge there are more effective ways to invest UK aid and to deliver even better results for the world’s poorest and value for taxpayers’ money.”

In total £38.9m was allocated to the Girl Effect Project.  By the end of 2015, £27.1m had been spent.  A further £11.8m was signed off in 2015, and it is not clear how much of this money has been spent.

A statement on the Girl Effect website, read, “Yegna is only one example of Girl Effect’s work, and the change we are unleashing across all corners of the globe.

“In four short years we have achieved irreversible momentum.”

Girl Effect’s chief executive, Farah Ramzan Golant, said, “We and our supporters across media, technology and business believe in the power of innovative, unconventional and efficient solutions to combating poverty at scale.

“Yegna is a pioneering example of this. Now more than ever we are committed to leveraging this expertise to grow the impact of Yegna and all our programmes around the world.”

The move to scrap funding was met with applause among Tory MPs.  David Nutall, said, “I’m glad to hear that the Government is listening but it doesn’t mean that everything is now fixed. We must continue to ensure that taxpayers get real value for money.

“Charity starts at home and while taxpayers understand money needs to be spent on international aid for famine and the neediest parts of the world, this a good example of where money was not being spent in this way.”