An Associated Press investigation out of Somalia today shows that up to half of all famine aid deliveries there are being stolen. In the best of times, theft of food aid is deplorable. At a time when 3.2 million Somalis — nearly half the population — are in dire need of food, it is also catastrophic. Already some 29,000 Somali children under the age of 5 have died.
Associated Press reporter Katharine Houreld filed a story today saying the United Nations is investigating the stolen aid:
“Thousands of sacks of food aid meant for Somalia’s famine victims have been stolen and are being sold at markets in the same neighborhoods where skeletal children in filthy refugee camps can’t find enough to eat, an Associated Press investigation has found.
“The U.N.’s World Food Program for the first time acknowledged it has been investigating food theft in Somalia for two months. The WFP said that the ‘scale and intensity’ of the famine crisis does not allow for a suspension of assistance, saying that doing so would lead to ‘many unnecessary deaths.’