A large amount of food sent by the U.N. to the Somali capital during last year’s famine never reached the starving people it was intended for, an Associated Press investigation has found.
Some of the World Food Program supplies went to the black market, some to feed livestock. One warehouse full of rations was looted in its entirety by a Somali government official. And across the city, feeding sites handed out far less food than records indicate they should have.
The British government estimates between 50,000 and 100,000 people died in Somalia’s famine, and the U.N. has requested $1.5 billion for Somalia this year, partly to prevent a return of famine.
The World Food Program provides much of Somalia’s food aid, and the U.N. says donations of food and cash saved half a million lives in the second half of last year. In the chaos of a civil war, with the aid effort’s own personnel at mortal risk merely for being associated with the West, orderly, corruption-free food distribution could never be guaranteed.
But AP’s three-month investigation into sites providing hot meals to families in government-controlled Mogadishu reveals various shortcomings,
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