The United Nations Security Council, in its meeting this week, is due to receive the regular 120-day report from the chair of the Somalia Sanctions Committee, which will include the panel’s discussion of a report by the Somalia Monitoring Group tackling diversion of food assistance in Somalia, according to Ertharin Cousin, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Mission in Rome.
“The Somalia Monitoring Group report contains a number of recommendations, including those regarding the work of the World Food Program in Somalia,” Cousin said.
The World Food Program’s executive board, of which the U.S. Mission to the U.N. agencies in Rome is an active member, has maintained a responsibility for oversight and governance of WFP’s operations including those in Somalia, Cousin added.
“The board will continue to work with WFP to ensure that all the policies and procedures of WFP are followed in Somalia, just as they are in other countries where WFP partners with the U.S. and other countries in the delivery of food assistance,” Cousin said.
The U.S. has earmarked some USD150 million in food assistance for Somalia, Cousin said, adding that the U.S. government’s “operational and food aid support to Somalia is limited to the northern region of Somalia only.”
WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran, in a letter to The New York Times, said agency officials “routinely investigate any charges of wrongdoing or inefficiency,” such as what happened for the Somalia operation in 2009.
“The result: more intensive monitoring of markets, cancellation of contracts and suspension of distributions as needed,” she said.