2014-08-28
Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
MP’s fury as £500k of aid for Somalia is confiscated by Al Qaeda terror group

Britain, aid budget, supplies, £500,000,  Al Qaeda, terrorists
Gerald Howarth: Taxpayers' money being diverted to people fighting against us is unacceptable


express_logo
Monday, August 12, 2013

FRESH anger over Britain’s soaring overseas aid budget erupted last night after it emerged that supplies worth nearly £500,000 ended up in the hands of Al Qaeda terrorists.

Whitehall data revealed that humanitarian equipment funded by British ­taxpayers had been “confiscated” by Islamic terrorists in Somalia in a series of incidents over the past three years.

The supplies were in warehouses seized by al-Shabaab, a group linked to the Al Qaeda terrorist ­network, and were later believed to have been set on fire, the Department for International Development said.

The revelations, contained in the small print of the department’s accounts, intensified anger over the Government’s decision to increase aid spending to £11billion by 2015 in line with internationally agreed targets.

Senior Conservative MP Sir Gerald Howarth said: “There is huge public concern at the relentless increase in overseas aid.

“Incidents like this, where British taxpayers’ money is diverted into ­people fighting against us, are not acceptable. DfID owes it to the public to ­exercise the utmost caution with its money.”

The accounts also showed ­£60million in aid was paid to countries in Europe during 2011. British aid cash was spent on subsidising hospitality at five-star hotels during the London Olympics.

The accounts report said there was no prior warning of the attacks in Somalia and partner organisations were unable to move the supplies.

It said the £480,000 cost was written off “following the theft between November 2011 and February 2012 by al-Shabaab in southern Somalia of DfID-funded humanitarian materials and supplies from the offices and warehouses of partner organisations.

“DfID’s partners had no prior warning of the confiscations being carried out and therefore had no time to prevent the loss by relocating goods. DfID continues to work with its partner organisations to ensure risks like this are identified and the organisations take appropriate action.

“This can include putting effective controls in place, where possible, to mitigate or eliminate such risks which reduce the effectiveness of our aid.”

A spokesman for the department said: “DfID works in some of the most dangerous places in the world, including Somalia, because tackling the root causes of poverty and instability there ensures a safer world and a safer UK.

“Working in conflict-affected and fragile states carries inherent risk. DfID does all it can to mitigate against this but, on occasion, losses will occur. We work with our partners to design programmes that protect our investment from misuse or theft.”

Labour last night claimed the lost aid equipment was a sign of Government incompetence and criticised International Development Secretary Justine Greening. Shadow international development secretary Ivan Lewis said: “Today’s revelations about UK aid raise fundamental questions about the ­Government’s competence.

“After three years Justine Greening has serious questions to answer about DfID’s performance under Tory leadership. We support their decision to spend less than one penny in every pound of UK spending on helping to eliminate poverty in the world.

“It is morally the right thing to do and in our long-term national interest. But they have a duty to ensure taxpayers’ money is being used effectively. We want assurances that lessons have been learned and systems changed accordingly.

“The central Tory claim before the election was they would improve the results achieved from aid spending yet the evidence now shows the performance of our aid programmes has ­deteriorated on their watch.”





Post your comments