- Aug 17, 2010
by Thomas Mountain
To hear the corporate media tell it, the Shabab resistance in Somalia is to blame for the drought and famine. But ten million people are threatened in the neighboring Ogaden region of Ethiopia, largely populated by ethnic Somalis, many of whom are at war with the Ethiopian dictatorship. Ethiopia restricts the movements of foreigners in the Odaden, yet the World Food Program continues to operate there, as a partner with the regime.
World Food Program in Somalia: Angel of Mercy or Angel of Death?
by Thomas C. Mountain
“You could say the WFP helped put the nail in the coffin of Somali agriculture.”
The World Food Program (WFP), one of the U.N.’s biggest aid agencies, has a very nasty history in Somalia.
Back in 2006 just as Somali farmers brought their grain harvest to market, the WFP began the distribution of its entire year’s grain aid for Somalia. With thousands of tons of free grain available Somali farmers found it almost impossible to sell their harvest and faced disaster.
Thousands of angry Somali farmers gathered at WFP distribution centers across Somalia to protest, sometimes violently. In an attempt to calm matters the WFP promised an investigation which in due course announced that, yes, the WFP had done the Somali farmers wrong and promised they wouldn't do it again.
Then in 2007 just as the Somali grain harvest began to arrive in local markets the WFP once again distributed its entire year’s grain aid, only this time with the Ethiopian army there to protect it. With a four year long on and off again drought since afflicting most of Somalia you could say the WFP helped put the nail in the coffin of Somali agriculture.
Small wonder, then, why the Somali resistance, “The Youth”, Al Shabab, has since kicked the WFP out of most of southern Somalia that they control. It was only a couple of months ago that the WFP had cut by 70 per cent the minimum survival food rations for the one million or more Somali refugees it had been feeding due to a “funding shortfall,” yet today they would have us believe that they are desperately concerned for the survival of the Somali people suffering from the drought.