US keeps aid out of Somali rebels' hands
New York - The United States is using a controversial money-transfer system to deliver aid directly to Somali famine victims and keep it out of the hands of militants.
The director of USAID, Raj Shah, told The Associated Press that aid agencies have had to resort to creative ways to prevent the militant group al-Shabaab from seizing aid.
Shah said the US and UN officials were now using the hawala system to deliver food vouchers. US authorities have long complained that the informal network for money exchange common in the Muslim world is a conduit for al-Shabaab and other groups accused of terrorism.
Al-Shabaab controls most of the famine ravage area in Somalia and won't let international aid groups into the territories it controls.