The Grain Mafia

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A humanitarian project is corrupted to the benefit of a few refugees. The monthly food distribution always includes some kind of grain. The privileged few charge the refugees to mill their grain. For those who don’t have cash, they take half the grain in payment. They then sell it – illegally.

KHARTOUM NOVEMBER 4: A humanitarian project is corrupted to the benefit of a few powerful and unscrupulous refugees. Meet the grain mafia. There are a very few ways to get rich in a refugee camp – and owning a mill is one of them.

The monthly food distribution always includes some kind of grain but it must be ground into flour before it can be eaten. It’s an extraordinarily exhausting process.

Enter the grain mafia. They charge the refugees to mill their grain. For those who don’t have cash – which is almost everyone– they take half the grain in payment. They then sell it – illegally – on the open market.

It has turned them into the richest families in the camp. No one dares complain.

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Featured Image: Albert Gonzalez Farran/UNAMID

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