The World Food Program has said it will end its relationship with three independent contractors in Somalia after a U.N. report alleged that up to half the food aid for the east African country was being diverted. WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said aid operations were always vulnerable in conflict areas and many of the issues raised had been addressed. The WFP is the single largest aid agency in Somalia and a lifeline to more than two million Somalis. Sheeran said, “The integrity of our organization is paramount, and we will be reviewing and investigating each and every issue raised by this report,” Sheeran said. U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes welcomed WFP’s willingness to cooperate with an independent inquiry. He added that many of the allegations are not new and WFP has already conducted its own internal investigation. Holmes stressed that 3.2 million Somalis need humanitarian assistance, especially those in south central Somalia. (Financial Times, NYT, AP)

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