News reports of Somali markets packed with food aid for sale

By Khadija Patel 17 August 2011

While the UN shuffles to defend aid to Mogadishu despite the threat of theft, a South African military aircraft will deliver 18 tons of supplies to famine victims in Somalia this week. By KHADIJA PATEL.

Associated Press reported this week that vast quantities of food aid bearing stamps from the World Food Programme, the US government aid agency USAid, the Japanese government and the Kuwaiti government are for sale in Mogadishu markets. According to the report eight different sites were found to be selling thousands of sacks of food in bulk. Other food aid, according to the report was also for sale in numerous smaller stores. The United Nations’ World Food Programme, in response has rubbished the story, insisting the scale suggested by the AP report was simply implausible.

Importantly, however, the UN does admit that a certain amount of food aid is indeed being stolen. A WFP spokesperson in Rome told reporters that stolen food sold in Mogadishu markets amounts to no more than “1% of total assistance”, but the report does bring to light the lack of processes available to aid agencies in Mogadishu to investigate exactly where food aid ends up. In a highly militarised zone where the sound of gunfire is always just around the corner, aid agencies rarely leave their bases. Staff of WFP are said not to venture further than their base near Mogadishu airport.

With the call for aid to Somalia growing stronger still, there is little aid agencies can actually do to assure food reaches the right hands. Last week, the vestiges of the Somali government called for the creation of a new military force to protect food aid convoys and camps in southern Somalia. The call for such a force may have more credence after Reuters reported on Tuesday that Al-Shabaab and Somali government troops as well as African Union peacekeepers were engaged in fierce fighting in northern Mogadishu, prompting doctors and children to flee a hospital that was hit by stray bullets.

South Africa, meanwhile, continues to step up its response to the famine in Somalia and the first demonstration of the South African government response will occur later this week when a South African military aircraft ferries food and medical supplies to Mogadishu on behalf of local aid agency, Gift of the Givers. DM

Read more:

  • Scale of reported Somalia food aid theft implausible, insists UN in The Guardian;
  • Food not getting to Somalis, refugee camp bursting at seams in Deutsche Welle.



Watch Pauli van Wyk’s Cat Play The Piano Here!

No, not really. But now that we have your attention, we wanted to tell you a little bit about what happened at SARS.

Tom Moyane and his cronies bequeathed South Africa with a R48-billion tax shortfall, as of February 2018. It's the only thing that grew under Moyane's tenure... the year before, the hole had been R30.7-billion. And to fund those shortfalls, you know who has to cough up? You - the South African taxpayer.

It was the sterling work of a team of investigative journalists, Scorpio’s Pauli van Wyk and Marianne Thamm along with our great friends at amaBhungane, that caused the SARS capturers to be finally flushed out of the system. Moyane, Makwakwa… the lot of them... gone.

But our job is not yet done. We need more readers to become Maverick Insiders, the friends who will help ensure that many more investigations will come. Contributions go directly towards growing our editorial team and ensuring that Daily Maverick and Scorpio have a sustainable future. We can’t rely on advertising and don't want to restrict access to only those who can afford a paywall subscription. Membership is about more than just contributing financially – it is about how we Defend Truth, together.

So, if you feel so inclined, and would like a way to support the cause, please join our community of Maverick Insiders.... you could view it as the opposite of a sin tax. And if you are already Maverick Insider, tell your mother, call a friend, whisper to your loved one, shout at your boss, write to a stranger, announce it on your social network. The battle for the future of South Africa is on, and you can be part of it.


Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or if you are already an Insider.

Days of Zondo

Fikile ‘Fearfokkol’ Mbalula tripped up by semantics of his Gupta-fix tale

By Jessica Bezuidenhout

"What's the sense in having an eclipse if you can't look at it? Somebody in production sure slipped up this time!" ~ Charles M. Schulz