HomeCurrent affairsSomalia to not receive food aid due to theft: EU

Somalia to not receive food aid due to theft: EU

Diversion of funds halts food aid in Somalia.

The European Union (EU) has temporarily suspended all food aid funded by the World Food Programme (WFP). Somalia is one of the beneficiaries of the programme. The United Nations reports that there is widespread theft across the country. Grains and funds were being misallocated and misused. 

(Image Source: AP)

The European Union allocated $7 million of the $1 billion in donations the World Food Programme received. The amount was for food aid for Somalia. Other EU members also donated to the cause. It is unclear whether they would suspend food aid. 

Balazs Ujvari from the European Commission states that the temporary suspension is neither confirmed nor denied. He claims that the United Nations has not informed the EU regarding any misuse of EU funds for welfare projects. However, they will continue to monitor the situation. 

A senior official from the EU states that landowners, local authorities, security forces, and aid workers were misappropriating funds meant for the vulnerable public. The statement is according to the UN’s investigation in Somalia. 

Two other officials state that operations will resume once additional conditions are agreed upon. One such condition is vetting the partners in Somalia. Another source claims the European Commission is actively working with the WFP to resolve issues. 

The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, had commissioned the report. Devex, an internationally focused media organization released the report. 

According to the report, internally displaced persons (IDPs) had to pay half the cash assistance they received to the authorities. Threats of eviction, arrest, and lack of benefits scared them. 

The WFP and the U.S. Agency for International Development had suspended food aid to Ethiopia. There were concerns about donations going to other sources. 

Somalia and the diversion of funds

Donations began pouring into Somalia last year as humanitarian officials claimed that the region would experience worsening droughts and famines in the future. 

The United Nations report did not state the amount of misappropriated funds but claimed that they were diverted post delivery. 

Diversion of aid relief funds is a widespread and systematic issue. 55 IDP sites lost funds.

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