WFP knows how to control aid supplies

2011-08-16 18:27

Geneva - The UN's World Food Programme insisted on Tuesday it won't reduce emergency aid shipments to Somalia despite allegations of fraud, saying that though such complaints are frequent it doesn't believe there have been big losses.

WFP said it is bringing 5 000 tons a month of food into the Somali capital of Mogadishu to help the famine-hit nation. Tens of thousands of people each week are fleeing famine in Somalia to neighbouring Ethiopia and Kenya.

But an investigation on the ground by The Associated Press found that sacks of grain, peanut butter snacks and other food staples meant for starving Somalis are being stolen and sold in Somali markets, raising concerns that the unscrupulous are stealing from international famine relief efforts.

One Mogadishu official estimated to the AP that up to half of the recent food aid may have been stolen.

WFP officials disputed that figure Tuesday. Lauren Landis, the new director of WFP's Geneva office, said it seems "implausible" that a large amount of food is being diverted because it would pose a huge logistical challenge.

"Large losses of food is abnormal, because we know how to do this," Landis told AP, without elaborating further.

She said theft worries are common with WFP operations in Somalia and around the world.

Contractors

However, WFP officials rely on third-party monitors on the ground to make sure that aid agencies and the Somali government fight corruption and don't allow diverted aid to help fuel Somalia's 20-year civil war. AP journalists went into the markets to see for themselves.

Families at a large, government-run camp where aid groups distribute food told the AP they were often forced to hand back the aid after journalists had taken photos of them with it.

In Mogadishu markets, vast piles of food are for sale with stamps on them from the WFP, the US government Usaid agency, the Japanese government and the Kuwaiti government.

The AP found eight sites where thousands of sacks of food aid were being sold in bulk. Other food aid was also for sale in numerous smaller stores.

Meanwhile, the United Nations said the mortality rate among young children at a camp for Somali refugees in Ethiopia has reached alarming levels, with an average of 10 children under five dying every day since the Kobe camp in southeast Ethiopia opened in June.

The camp holds 25 000 refugees. A suspected measles outbreak combined with acute malnutrition is thought to be the cause of deaths, said Adrian Edwards, a spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

- AP
Read more on:    wfp  |  somalia  |  aid
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 30% off top fragrances

Get mind blowing savings on selected fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to combine imagination, information and creativity together. Try not to over rationalise things and rather...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.