Skip to main content

Statement On Food Seizure In Mogadishu

The World Food Programme wishes to clarify information regarding the seizure of food in Mogadishu on 14 June. WFP has been working closely with local authorities to clear up and resolve this unfortunate misunderstanding. The badly damaged food displayed at the airport last week has not been in WFP’s possession since mid-May.

In May and June, authorities seized relatively small amounts WFP food at the Mogadishu airport following anonymous and incorrect reports that it had expired. At the time of its confiscation, none of the food in question had passed its expiration date, and none of it showed any signs of damage or rot.  However, since it was removed from WFP custody, the condition of some of the food seized in May appears to have deteriorated badly during the month, probably due to exposure to torrential rain and sunlight.

WFP supports and shares the Somali authorities’ vigilance on food quality. WFP would never knowingly distribute expired or damaged food. WFP’s top priority is the well-being of the people it assists in Somalia and around the world.

WFP is providing vital food and nutrition support to some 2.4 million people in Somalia this year. A growing portion of WFP’s assistance in Somalia is coming in the form of cash transfers, which allow poor and vulnerable Somalis to buy the food of their choice in local markets.  Distribution of food rations is done when seasonally appropriate, and in areas where markets are not functioning well.

WFP also buys an increasing amount of food direct from Somali farmers. Last month, in cooperation with partner agencies and the Ministry of Agriculture, WFP bought 2000 metric tons of maize grown locally.