In regard to the photo caption on page 2 ( "Government in $2 million rice fraud",
Post, Aug 27, 2004) "Hansen kept quiet about the discovery two days before of
a massive rice theft racket throughout the WFP's network."
The World Food Program began its investigations immediately after the first diversion
was verified on February 28. Our intention was to inform the donor community as soon
as we had gathered reliable and accurate information on the nature and extent of
The [rice] handover ceremony with the Japanese officials in the photo you used was
held two days after we began investigating. It would have been irresponsible and
inappropriate for Ms Hansen to use the occasion of a donor ceremony scheduled weeks
earlier to release sketchy, unconfirmed reports of the diversions.
In fact, the briefing with donors was held just 10 days later, on March 9. Her swift
action has been praised by the donor community as a model of transparency.
Ram Saravanamuttu - Acting Country Director, World Food Program