Humanitarian agency refutes claims

National

A GLOBAL humanitarian agency has refuted claims that it bypassed the country’s laws by failing to consult local authorities prior to conducting a food distribution programme.
World Food Programme (WFP) has denied any irregularities in its conduct saying, it had consulted the Western disaster committee in February prior to delivering food, especially rice to more than 20,000 people affected by the recent drought.
WFP emergency coordinator for PNG Mats Persson said they had followed all due processes by signing a memorandum of understanding with the disaster committee and gave a brief on their operations.
“We wouldn’t be carrying out our operations had we not consulted the authorities concerned. We wouldn’t be here had we not advised the Government,” Persson said.
In a recent interview with The National, the provincial disaster coordinator David Sonny said they were not aware of the operations of WFP in the province.
He said WFP had bypassed them by making arrangements outside of their jurisdiction.
“I am not sure who that person is (Sonny) making those claims because we did consult the provincial disaster committee,” Persson said.

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