Bowden: Somali Aid Diversion Report Unfounded

The United Nations Security Council’s report on the alleged diversion of aid in Somalia does not  show enough evidence and is putting humanitarian operations in the country at risk, Mark Bowden, U.N. resident coordinator in Somalia, wrote in a letter to Claude Heller, who leads the Security Council sanctions committee on Somalia and Eritrea, which the Associated Press obtained. AP noted that Bowden criticized what he said were “sensational” claims made in the report. He added that the claims of diversion were not based on documents but on hearsay and common perception.

Bowden also criticized the report’s assertion that most U.N. agencies accepted stolen or diverted aid as part of doing business in Somalia. Furthermore, he rejected one of the report’s recommendations to send monitors to the country using the U.S. Humanitarian Air Service.

Funding for Somalia humanitarian programs, Bowen added, has dried up because of the report, Reuters reports.

“This is already affecting flows of humanitarian assistance and will inevitably make it more difficult to sustain a humanitarian lifeline to central and southern Somalia at a time when there are increasingly high levels of child malnutrition,” Bowden explained.

About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.