Millions from World Food Programme spent on luxury cars: report

Turkey’s largest humanitarian organization the Turkish Red Crescent has reportedly spent 3.7 million lira ($  645,000) transferred by the World Food Programme (WFP) to purchase luxury vehicles.

The world’s leading humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security, the WFP assists 86.7 million people in around 83 countries each year.

It delivers food assistance in emergencies and works with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience.

In partnership with the Turkish Red Crescent, a part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the WFP provides monthly cash transfers through the Emergency Social Safety Net Programme (ESSN) so that refugees in need can shop for food and clothes or pay rent and bills.

The WFP says it has injected  1.01 billion dollars into the Turkish economy through those money transfers supporting around 1.5 million people in the country since 2012.

The left-wing Birgun daily newspaper reported on Monday that the Turkish Red Crescent used as much as 3.7 million lira ($ 645,000) sent through the program for the refugees to buy 10 luxury vehicles.

The decision to purchase the cars with the money from the budget of the ESSN program was given during a board meeting that is chaired by Kerem Kinik, the President of the Turkish Red Crescent, on May 21, 2018.

“It is seen fit to buy 4×4 off-road vehicles in order to easily reach those in rural areas to carry out the activities mentioned in the 2018 SUY [ESSN] project,” the decision by the board said.

Birgun reported that while two of the purchased vehicles were Toyota’s 2017 model Land Cruiser Prado, the remaining eight were Ford Edge models of the same year.

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