National

Mar 10, 2010 12:35 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

UN report: Much of Somalia's food aid diverted

A U.N. diplomat blames the lack of security in Somalia for problems in distributing food to the millions of hungry people.

A U.N. Security Council report says up to half the food aid is being diverted to corrupt contractors, radical Islamic militants and local U.N. workers. Trucks carrying food have to navigate through roadblocks manned by an array of militias, insurgents and bandits. Kidnappings and executions are common.

The problems make it difficult for senior U.N. officials to travel to Somalia to check on procedures. Some 3.7 million Somalians - nearly half of the population - need aid. The New York Times says the U.N. report, which hasn't been released yet, recommends the secretary-general open an independent investigation into problem.

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