The International Committee of the Red Cross has repeatedly betrayed the trust conferred on it by the local population and, in the recent weeks, falsely accused the Mujahideen (Shabaab fighters) of hindering food distribution.A statement from al-Shabaab • Discussing its decision to bar the Red Cross from the parts of Somalia it controls. That’s right: al-Shabaab is blocking humanitarian aid from being distributed over accusations by the Red Cross that they’re already blocking humanitarian aid from getting distributed. You can’t make this stuff up.
» Yukiyo Edano says speed it up: Edano, the Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary, explained that the standard procedure is for independent panels throughout the prefectures to decide how to handle the money; basically, distribution at the local level. This can slow the whole process when these communities are in such disarray, though, which is why Edano believes the central government should set up an independent committee. The Red Cross, it bears mentioning, has sent over 200 crisis relief teams into stricken areas. And it must be said in the strongest possible terms that we don’t mean to discourage people who either have, or want to donate to Japan’s relief efforts. Rather, we think it’s worth understanding the functional realities that can hamstring those efforts. But the donations are nonetheless noble, vital, and necessary; none of this changes that.