Statement By The World Food Programme On Humanitarian Operations Providing Food Assistance In Somalia

Published on 30 August 2011

The delivery of food assistance to millions of hungry people in Somalia presents one of the most complex and dangerous challenges that humanitarian agencies face anywhere in the world.  All the humanitarian agencies working in this environment face risks.  There are risks to the safety of their staff, risks to their property, and risks to commodities being moved into the country– whether they are food, medicines, equipment or shelter material.

The World Food Programme (WFP) is no exception, and while we do everything within our power to check and monitor the flow of food assistance to the hungry, we have to work with others – both cooperating partners and local authorities - to supervise food distributions and provide the security and safety to ensure that food is getting into the hands of the hungry – especially women and children.

WFP is committed to maintaining the highest possible standards of accountability and oversight concerning its work in Somalia.  WFP’s greatest priority is to save lives, and the goal of the agency is always to deliver 100 percent of its food.  Any reports of theft or diversion of food assistance will be investigated and action will be taken to address problems should they arise.

WFP now has the tightest checks, controls and monitoring systems of any agency operating in Somalia, ensuring that food assistance is carefully tracked and accountability is strengthened.  The most recent UN Monitoring Group report, from July 2011, recognises and commends WFP for putting these mechanisms in place to provide careful oversight of the 5000 metric tons of food we are moving through Mogadishu every month.