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Aug. 18, 2011 A Response from OXFAM on allegations of aid not getting to Somalia

I regularly donate to OXFAM International (among many other aid organizations) and have been concerned about the allegations that their aid is not completely reaching their intended targets: children and families suffering from famine in Somalia, in the case of OXFAM.

In my case, personally, I would still donate to these aid organizations even if I had found that much, maybe even most, of this aid never reached their intended targets. To know that some of it had actually saved the lives of those that are struggling at the edges of life is enough to satisfy my reasons for giving. I do understand, however, that others may differ from my belief. 

So, in response to those who struggle about giving due to this aid not getting to where it's needed, I personally asked those at OXFAM about it. Here was their response:


Dear Frank,


Thank you for your email and interest in our work!


Because Oxfam is working through local organizations in Somalia, we have  been very successful in getting aid through to people in need.


Oxfam does not have any general food distribution activities in Somalia. We support community-based and mobile therapeutic feeding centers for malnourished children in Mogadishu through local NGO partners. This program treats acutely malnourished children and mothers over a period of two months to ensure they do not fall back into nutritional crisis.


We are confident that all of the aid delivered through the therapeutic feeding center and through our other partners reaches its intended recipients, and we have measures in place to ensure this. 


We take aid diversion allegations extremely seriously, and are in constant communication with all of our partners to make sure that aid reaches the people for whom it is intended.


In Somalia, conflict and reduced levels of access can increase the potential for aid diversion. In recognition of this, Oxfam relies on close monitoring of all stakeholders, by our own staff as well as external evaluators. We work with local partners who are accountable to both Oxfam and to their communities, and we conduct rigorous vetting and assessment of local partners before, during and after taking on projects.


I hope this is helpful and if you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.


I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support, which is greatly appreciated by us and everyone we work with.  I hope that you will feel able to continue helping Oxfam to overcome poverty and suffering around the world.   Thank you again for making a difference.


Sincere regards,



P.S. for the latest information on what Oxfam is doing in Somalia and East Africa, please visit our website:


Jessica M. Glidden

Cause Marketing Coordinator,

Communications & Community Engagement

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226 Causeway Street, 5th Floor

Boston, MA  02114-2206 USA






From: Frank M
Sent: Thursday, August 18, 2011 9:30 AM
To: Info
Subject: OXFAM Aid to Somalia




I have been giving to OXFAM America (especially towards the famines happening in the Horn of Africa) and am proud that I am doing so. 


However, many of my friends and family are concerned that much of this aid is not reaching the children and families in Somalia due to al-Shabaab's control in the area. Is this true and what is OXFAM or OXFAM America doing about it? Can you give me specifics?


By the way, these are the reasons that my friends and family have NOT given to OXFAM (as have, unfortunately, many others).


Thank you for your response,



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