UN worried at theft of refugees’ food
From EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – UNITED Nations agencies have solicited the intervention of anti-corruption bodies in Nigeria after disturbing revelations government officials were diverting aid meant for refugees in the country.
In one of the most scandalous developments since the advent of the Boko Haram, it emerged public officials were embezzling the relief, mostly food, which they repackaged for sale.
This has left thousands in the terror-prone northeastern parts of the country malnourished.
Following the revelations, UN World Food Programme (WFP) Assistant Executive Director, Ramiro Lopes de Silva, has been in the West African country to assess the problem.
He has appealed to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to help oversee the distribution especially to children, who are most affected by the crisis.
De Silva said since there would be cash transfer to the needy in some cases, the programme wanted to establish a relationship with EFCC around issues of awareness of fraud in all modalities and expenditure.
EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, pledged the commission’s willingness to support the cause of the internally displaced persons and any other such cause for humanity.
He therefore pledged the commission would deploy desk officers who would liaise with the WFP to ensure its projects’ success.
The initiative aims to cushion over 3 million victims displaced by the Boko Haram crisis.
– CAJ News
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