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Families and Ethiopian farmers feel in the dark over Boeing's aid offer

GARA-BOKKA, Ethiopia/NAIROBI (Reuters) - A week after Boeing Co offered $100 million to help families and communities affected by the deadly crashes of its 737 MAX planes in Ethiopia and Indonesia, affected farmers in Ethiopia, victims’ relatives and the Kenyan and Ethiopian governments say they have not heard anything about the funds.

The planemaker said it would give the money to local governments and non-profit organizations, adding the funds were not connected with a slew of lawsuits from victims’ families.

It is unclear who will qualify for the aid or what the timeline is for the offer, which was unusual in that it comes from a planemaker rather than an airline.

Farmers where an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed on March 10 say their lands have been fenced off since, with the site still littered with small shards of debris, and they cannot afford to rent plots elsewhere.

They told Reuters this week they were not aware of any offer from Boeing.

Neither the Ethiopian nor the Kenyan governments, whose countries suffered the most deaths in the crash of Flight ET302, have had any discussions with Boeing, officials said.

Ethiopian Airlines spokesman Asrat Begashaw said the airline had no details on Boeing’s offer.

“There is no information,” he said.

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