Of What Use Is the United Nations?


This is just shameful.

TimesOnline is reporting that workers from U.N ‘s World Food Programme (WFP), an effort to get food to millions starving in Somalia, are selling emergency foodstuffs right out of the U.N warehouses to blackmarketers. These are staples (wheat, corn, oil) intended to be distributed free, and yet U.N. personnel are turning a tidy profit by selling the emergency goods to traders who also make a profit by selling the goods in marketplaces in Mogadishu. According to one trader, the scam is blatant:

“They take us to the warehouses used by the WFP and let us load our lorries. The goods are freely available and you can buy as much as you like, but we usually buy no more than 500 to 1,000 sacks at a time. Just a tonne or half a tonne a day can be shifted more discreetly.”

Of course, this is food that is desperately needed by refugees–those for whom it was initially intended. With civil war and drought, Somalia is one of the worst humanitarian emergencies in the world, ranking right beside Darfur. The WFP is supposed to be feeding 3.5 million Somalis (almost half the Somali population). Instead, it seems U.N workers are selling these supplies, making an already dire situation that much worse.

Sadly, many of the supply bags being black-marketed, are, in fact marked:

Many of the sacks for sale are marked: “A gift from the American people”, with the US government’s aid agency, USAID, providing $274 million last year in food and in humanitarian assistance for Somalia.

Some gift. This, of course, also reflects poorly on the United States. How many starving folks see that and wonder why the U.S. is forcing them to pay for something they thought would be freely given?

However, for the United Nations, it’s the same old same old. It seems to be the culture of corruption under which the U.N. operates:

  • Remember the U.N. Oil for Food program in Iraq?
  • Remember all the U.N. “peacekeepers” with a taste for rape?
  • Remember the UNIFIL station on the Israeli/Lebanese border flying the Hezbollah flag–above the U.N. flag?

 The United States spends tens of billions of dollars (taxpayers’ dollars) on U.N. activities each year, subsidizing 22% of the U.N.’s regular budget, and 25% of its peacekeeping budget. Most nations (including the billion dollar oil-rich Arab states) pay between .0001% and 3%.

With the all the corruption, all the waste, all the crime, all the stupidity… why are we still a member of this organization?

H/T: HotAir



2 Responses to Of What Use Is the United Nations?

  1. WALTERC says:

    Why indeed.

  2. Rob says:

    There are valid reasons to leave the UN. These aren’t in that list. Pushing these reasons only demonstrates your intellectual vacuum.

    What is the relative incidence of rape by UN peacekeepers vs. the incidence of rape by US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq (and the other 100 countries where US forces are found)? What about the relative incidence of rape by one’s squadmates in various military institutions? What is the incidence of rape by guards in US prisons?

    If you are going to use rape as a reason to leave an institution, it works best if the institution doing the leaving has a better record than the one being left.

    Sale of goods:
    Yes, that sort of *theft* is horrible and ridiculous. How much of that sort of theft goes on in the US military? Do you know which contingents are doing this? Could it be . . . say, the US contingent? We are the most entrepreneurial country in the world . . .

    Given that Hezbollah was elected in elections that monitors from every country monitoring (including the US!) certified as freer and fairer than the last 2 US presidential elections, they were the sovereign government of that nation. Or, should the UN flag fly above the US flag on US territory?

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