The United States is withholding about $50 million in American aid to Somalia, fearing the donations are, in fact, filling the stomachs of terrorists, according to the New York Times.
“American officials are concerned that United Nations contractors may be funneling American donations to the Shabab, a Somali terrorist group with growing ties to Al Qaeda. United Nations officials say the American government has been withholding millions of dollars in aid shipments while a new set of rules is worked out to better police the distribution of aid.”
As talks continue throughout the United Nations, Somalis have enough emergency food to last them only four more weeks.
“The potential damage is huge,” said Kiki Gbeho, the head coordinator of United Nations humanitarian operations in Somalia, during a visit to a drought-stricken area on Thursday.
Overall donations are down this year due to the tough economy, even before the U.S. decided to delay their aid to the drought-stricken country. The outcome of this massive waiting game could be catastrophic.
“Simple,” Sheik Ali Gab said. “We will all starve.”
According to the New York Times, the American government is the largest donor to Somalia, providing about 40 percent of the $850 million annual aid budget, intended to feed more than three million people.
For more on this story: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/02/world/africa/02somalia.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=world