July 12, 2024


Food never sleeps.

Sex For Food Scandal In West Africa

3 min read
Sex For Food Scandal In West Africa

It is sad to see that people who are supposed to help are inhuman enough to ask for sex in exchange of food. Food is among the basic necessity which a human being cannot live without. Severe hunger is so dangerous in such a way that any animal can do anything just to get satisfied. There are some aid workers and international peace-keepers who are taking advantage of hungry refugees in West Africa. Sex for food is sexual abuse at its extreme form. The refugee women and children fall prey to these sex maniacs since eating is unavoidable. It will take a lot of intervention to put to an end the sexual abuse in west Africa. This is because it is so widespread in all the refugee camps. It happens in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone where people who are entrusted to take care of the refugees sexually exploit them.

It is shocking to know that reports show that a lot more might be happening in the ground. Sex for food might just be a tip of an iceberg. The humanitarian workers still continue with this kind of trade since nothing much is done to punish whoever breaks the codes of conduct. The alleged perpetrators should be sacked but instead they are called for workshops and trained using modules. Nothing changes and the sexual harassment in the field remains the same. In Liberia it is said that the offer of sex for food is an open secret. Dealing with this is a challenge mostly because delivery of aid is through the set community structures. The excessive resources can possibly be used as a patronage resource. This kind of sexual abuse mostly increase during periods of conflict because it is used as a deliberate war weapon or because of break down of law and order at this particular time.

This tends to form a culture where this matter is seen as a less serious problem. Mothers get used to it since they were abused too and submit their own children for sex for food kind of an exchange. UN and other humanitarian bodies are trying to arrest the situation. Men should not be allowed to use their positions of power as opportunities to sexually exploit vulnerable women and children. Their is an appeal to the people to help these refugees to make a decent living without having to turn to this form of desperation. As a response to the appeal an American Refugee Committee set up two centers in Guinea. This is where the victims of sex for food kind of an abuse report their cases. The centers report around 400 to 650 cases annually. Although the prosecutions have not taken effect yet, it is a notice to the abusers that they can no longer act with the same impunity.

The relief workers offer food and medicine in exchange with sexual favors. The humanitarian workers hit the nail on the head since they clearly know that they will not be held responsible for their sexual abuse actions. They do not beat about the bush while asking for sex for food kind of trade. “If you do not offer one of your girls or yourself for sex, then it will be hard to access relief food” this are some of the statements they use with women. Men are told to offer their wives and children so that they can be supplied with food. It is mind-boggling to see such a great organization like United Nations failing to correctly supervise their employees on the ground. If no disciplinary action is taken the United Nation’s name will be badly tainted across the world.

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