Voice of Russia
UK taxpayer-funded foreign aid supplies worth nearly half a million pounds ended up in the hands of al-Qaeda in southern Somalia.
The supplies were seized from a warehouse by militant Islamist group al-Shabaab between November 2011 and February 2012, but the thefts were buried in the Department for International Development’s latest annual accounts. al-Shabaab is a cell of al-Qaeda, which last year, threatened to carry out an attack on Britain that would eclipse the horrors of 7/7 and 21/7 combined.”
The accounts said the £480,000 was written off following the theft of DfID-funded humanitarian supplies from the offices and warehouses of partner organizations, to which DfID had provided funding.
DfID’s partners claimed the thefts were unexpected, therefore, they had no time to prevent them or relocate the goods.
Recently, UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom criticized increases in aid spending, saying it was going to dictators to buy “Ray-Ban sunglasses, apartments in Paris and Ferraris.”
“How we can possibly be giving a billion pounds a month, when we’re in this sort of debt, to Bongo Bongo land is completely beyond me,” he said.
The Daily Mail paper revealed last week that more than a billion pounds of aid was going to oil-rich Nigeria, which has its own space program, as well as to four other space-aspiring countries in the region.
Aid spending is set to reach nearly £11billion by 2015, to meet a pledge by PM Cameron that taxpayers should give away 0.7 percent of GDP every year to provide for the needy.
A spokesman for the TaxPayers’ Alliance said “this is yet more evidence of how hard it is to turn good intentions into genuine help for those in countries with deeply dysfunctional politics where security cannot be taken for granted.”
The country’s International Development secretary Justine Greening has, however, defended the Somalia operation, arguing that losses like this are inevitable in war-torn and volatile areas.
“This incident shows that often we are working in incredibly challenging circumstances,” the minister told BBC.
“It is regrettable that we lost supplies that were funded by the taxpayer but we were in Somalia precisely because of the terrorism threat and at a time of huge issues of piracy as well and it shows why we were there in the first place. We track exactly what happens to our money, we know exactly what we are investing in up front,” the minister said.
The Cabinet minister also defended Britain’s aid package to Nigeria, saying that the aid was spent on satellites for communications and weather forecasting, which she said would be crucial in helping farmers to achieve successful harvests and reducing the chances of a famine.
But the pacifying statements by the government didn’t make taxpayers less concerned over their funds going to the wrong places.