UN Investigates Theft of Humanitarian Food Aid in Ethiopia

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) is investigating large-scale theft of food aid in Ethiopia, where 20 million people rely on humanitarian assistance, a letter obtained by The Associated Press reveals.

WFP Ethiopia director Claude Jibidar expressed concerns in a letter dated April 5, noting the sale of food in markets posed reputational risks and threatened resource mobilization. He urged immediate action to curb the misappropriation and diversion of humanitarian food in the country.

While the letter did not detail specific incidents, aid workers reported enough food for 100,000 people was stolen from a warehouse in Sheraro, a town in the conflict-ridden Tigray region.

USAID confirmed the diversion of some of its assistance in Northern Ethiopia and said it is taking necessary steps to stop further diversions. Amid continuing conflict, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced $331 million in funding for aid agencies operating in Ethiopia last month.

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