The Somali Disaster Management Office (SODMA) reaffirmed the Somali government’s commitment to investigate the findings of a recent internal United Nations’ report on incidences of possible aid diversion. The UN and the Federal Government of Somalia have established a joint taskforce that will develop a collective strategy to mitigate aid diversion, and ultimately deepen the impact and efficacy of humanitarian assistance.

“Aid diversion undermines the effectiveness and efficiency of humanitarian operations, while eroding public trust in our joint endeavors. The preliminary findings of the UN report highlight weaknesses within the current system of humanitarian distribution;therefore, we should strive for a new approach that ensures transparency, reduces multiple layers of sub-contracting, and builds local and government ownership in the process”, states SODMA Commissioner Mahamuud Moallim.

A devastating famine was averted due to the collective efforts of the Somali government, international partners, and Somali communities at home and abroad. The scale up of humanitarian funding in 2022 played a critical role in saving the lives of thousands of the most vulnerable in the country.

It is important to note that the humanitarian aid ‘enterprise’ has for the past three decades operatedoutside of the government channels as international agencies take the lead in the design and the implementation modalities. The current aid delivery model is a ‘legacy’ model continued from the era of the absence of a state, and is not fit for purpose in an era where the Somali state is playing an increasingly more visible role in the delivery of public goods to its citizens.

The UN provided the FGS with a summary of the key findings and recommendations in July 2023, but to date the government has not received specific data on the locations, amounts, and agencies involved in the alleged aid diversion. The FGS is committed to working through the legal system to investigate and prosecute those involved in aid diversion.

It is imperative that we openly acknowledge and learn from past challenges, working together to prevent future incidents and safeguard the well-being of those relying on our assistance.

Source: Somali National News Agency