The European Union (EU) has decided to suspend its funding to the World Food Program (WFP) in Somalia after a UN investigation revealed widespread theft and abuse of aid intended to prevent the famine in the country.
The head of the WFP, Cindy McCain, underlined the impact of this suspension by highlighting that 2.6 million people in Somalia depended on this vital aid. The move comes after the EU provided more than $7 million in humanitarian aid to the Horn of Africa.
The Somali Disaster Management Agency (SoDMA) has acknowledged the possibility of aid diversion and pledged to investigate the findings of the internal UN report. In response, the UN and the Somali government established a joint working group to develop a strategy to reduce the diversion of humanitarian aid and increase transparency in distribution.
Somalia recently faced a severe drought, the worst in 40 years, leading to the displacement of more than 1.4 million people and the death of millions of livestock. According to UN estimates, nearly 5 million Somalis suffer from acute food insecurity, including around 1.8 million children under the age of five suffering from acute malnutrition.