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Drought Committee appeals for help to deal with aid cartels in Mogadishu

Storyline:National News


A girl fetches water at an Internal Displaced Person (IDP) camp in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, on March 22, 2017. (Xinhua/Sun Ruibo)

The National Drought Response Committee has appealed to Banadir Regional Administration to support it in rooting out cartels and middle men who divert food aid meant for internally displaced persons in Mogadishu.

The Committee’s chairperson Sheikh Noor Gurhan told Goobjoog News the gatekeepers were posing a threat to the drought response efforts and risking reverting gains made in fighting the drought which has been termed one of the severest in Somalia’s history.

“We are very disturbed by how they (gatekeepers) treat the IDP people. These people are diverting aid meant for displaced people,” said Gurhan.

Gurhan said the committee does not have its own security and enforcement teams to ensure the food aid reaches the intended people without any diversion. “We have communicated this matter to the district commissioners in Banaadir region and sought their help to eradicate these camp operators who deploy crafty ways to benefit from needy people,” said Gurhan.

A story by Devex last month detailed how gatekeepers swindle food aid and sell them in Mogadishu markets denying thousands in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps much needed aid.

Mogadishu has an estimated 350,000 internally displaced persons most of whom arrived during the 2011 famine and subsequent inter-clan conflicts in various parts of the country.

Gurhan noted IDPs were reluctant to disclose any information about the malpractices for fear of recrimination from the camp managers and networks in the chain. He added however the committee was conducting a research to document all the camp operators in a bid to root out the vice.

Meanwhile Galmudug state minister for relief Mahad Mohamed Ali has said the state is mapping out the number of livestock farmers who lost their livestock to the drought for targeted support with the help of the World Food Programme (WFP).

The drought forced many people to abandon their pastoralist life and move to major towns in the area according to the state minister.

“We received a delegate [WFP] and we had a meeting with them in the presence of the deputy state president as well the state cabinet ministers. We discussed the drought in Galmudug state, its extent, our role and the role of WFP,” said Ali.