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Big contractors banned in Somali aid probe

By Jonathan Rugman

Updated on 11 March 2010

The United Nations has suspended its biggest aid transport contractors in Somalia after it found up to 50 per cent of its food aid was not reaching its target, a report obtained by Channel 4 News reveals.

Children queue for aid in Somalia

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has announced that it is suspending its three biggest transport contractors in Somalia, after a report for the UN Security Council obtained by Channel 4 News claimed that up to 50 per cent of WFP food aid was not reaching its intended target.

The UN report names the three Somali contractors as Abukar Omer Adaani, Abdulqaadir Mohamed Nuur "Enow" and Mohamed Deylaaf. They are understood to have received over $41m last year - more than 60 per cent of the WFP's transport budget.

"For over 12 years, delivery of WFP food aid has been dominated by three individuals", the UN Monitoring Group report says.

"On account of their contracts with WFP, these three men have become some of the wealthiest and influential individuals in Somalia."
The report continues: "A handful of Somali contractors for aid agencies have formed a cartel and become important powerbrokers - some of whom channel their profits - or the aid itself - directly to armed opposition groups."
The WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency and the biggest operating in Somalia. It says the three named transporters are receiving no more contracts with immediate effect.

More on this story from Channel 4 News
- UN backs Channel 4 News Somali aid probe
- Somalia: UN report's key findings

An internal WFP investigation in 2009, prompted by a Channel 4 News report, found no evidence of wrongdoing by WFP staff.
But the UN Security Council enquiry, obtained by Channel 4 News, accuses the WFP of deliberately obstructing  investigators: "the Monitoring Group experienced obstructionist non-cooperation by the WFP Somalia office", the report says.

The UN report urges the UN Secretary General to launch an independent investigation of the WFP Somalia country office and calls on the WFP to revise its internal procedures.

"The integrity of our organization is paramount and we will be reviewing and investigating each and every issue raised," said WFP Executive Director, Josette Sheeran. "WFP stands ready to offer full cooperation with any independent inquiry into its work in Somalia."

The report by the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia is due to be presented to the UN Security Council next week.

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