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Evidence Removed in Possible Case of Corruption
Substandard Aid Meant for Displaced Families in Sadr City Arrives, is Removed
By DANIEL W. SMITH 05/23/2009 10:25 PM ET
Just What's Needed For A Baghdad Summer - Cheap, Moldy Blankets
Iraqslogger
Just What's Needed For A Baghdad Summer - Cheap, Moldy Blankets

BAGHDAD – Last week in Sadr City, the local council awaited a shipment from the Ministry of Displacement and Migration, destined for poor refugees within the densely populated Baghdad district. Trucks carrying a variety of supplies, from food to clothing, were expected.

When they arrived, council members were shocked, according to a source within the council. Though they had been told that thousands of dollars had been spent on the supplies, what arrived was much less than expected, and of poor quality. Most of what the shipment consisted of were thin, scratchy, grey woolen blankets – of little use in the sweltering summer in Baghdad. Many smelled of mold. Among the other supplies delivered were a selection of children’s shoes and 25 boxes of canned tuna.

Sadr City officials had been expecting considerable supplies to assist up to hundreds of families. The idea of calling for an investigation was spoken of, into the possibility that funds had been intercepted by Displacement and Migration Ministry officials, who had ordered the cheapest supplies possible (a form of corruption not unheard of within Iraq). The decision was made to keep the shipment intact until inquiries could be made.

Displaced Families Arrive at Sadr City's Council Building to Receive Humanitarian Aid
Iraqslogger
Displaced Families Arrive at Sadr City's Council Building to Receive Humanitarian Aid
Council members were told that questions were put to the ministry, but any discussions that may have occurred were not made public to the entire council. A few days later, it was announced by council leadership that the supplies would be moved and mostly dispersed to the families, one reason given being that there “was not enough storage capacity.”

The next day, families arrived in droves, and were just as puzzled by the inadequate assistance as teh council members had been. Particular displeasure of the blankets was expressed.

Minister of Displacement and Migration, Abdul Rahman Sultan, did not return calls from Iraqslogger.


Members of Iraqslogger’s network of Iraqi staff contributed to this report, but choose to remain anonymous, for security reasons.
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