Somalia vows to fight against individuals selling relief food
Somalia has vowed to take legal action against officials who steal food aid intended for starving people in the drought areas.
In a statement dated 17th February, the Ministry of Health said that its officials found that some of the food aid meant to be distributed is being diverted and then sold off in the market for a profit.
The ministry further noted that it was aware of individuals involving in the aid-for-cash scandal.
“The officials are well aware that the food is meant for hungry children and families are being sold in markets. The stolen aid currently being sold in the market includes Ready-to-use Complementary Food (RUCF), Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food (RUFT), high energy biscuits, food oil and millet,” the statement reads in part.
The ministry called on the police to impound stolen food aid and prosecute those involved in the illicit trade.
The statement did not mention the names and number of people dealing with the selling of the relief food.
Vast quantities of relief food bearing stamps of WFP, USAID, the Japanese government and other aid agencies have continuously shown up in major markets all over Somalia.
Somalia has struggled with corrupt contractors, warlords and aid workers siphoning off desperately needed aid since the fall of the central government in the early 1990’s.
The UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Peter de Clercq says that there are 5.4 million people in Somalia in need of life-saving humanitarian assistance.
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