Trouble in England

08.12.131:46 PM ET

Justine Greening on the Defensive

After Somali aid supplies worth thousands of dollars were stolen on her department’s watch.

Britain’s Department for International Development has come under fire after it was discovered that approximately $742,500 worth of U.K.-sponsored aid supplies, owned by Unicef, were stolen from Somali warehouses. The thefts, which took place between November 2011 and February 2012 and were carried out by the militant group Al-Shabab, were the subject of a recent BBC radio interview with international development secretary Justine Greening. She claimed the thefts highlighted the “incredibly challenging conditions” her department faces, but didn’t mention the fact that the incident occurred during the worst famine in 25 years, which left an estimated quarter of a million people dead. The thefts have given ammunition to critics, who claim that the incident shows how incompetent the British government can be.