Food aid meant to reach starving Somalis has been stolen and sold, the Associated Press reported after an investigation.
The U.N. World Food Program said they had been looking into stolen aid for the past two months following the AP’s report. However the WFP will not suspend aid, stating the “scale and intensity” of the crisis outweighs the missing food.
Drought compounded with Somalia’s 20-year civil war left nearly half the population in need of food aid.
Somalia’s crisis is particularly difficult to address as more than 450,000 Somalis live in al-Qaida linked militant zones. Monitoring the food distribution is dangerous, and 14 aid workers from the WFP have died since 2008.
The United States is not new to dealing with stolen food aid — the military sent assistance during the country’s 1992 famine.