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Episode 535: Humanitarians, For A Price

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Episode 535: Humanitarians, For A Price

Government

Episode 535: Humanitarians, For A Price

Episode 535: Humanitarians, For A Price

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/308069967/308434672" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Mrs. Adad Hassan Jimali stands next to a sign for her private camp for displaced persons. The camp, which is in Mogadishu, Somalia, is called Nasiib Camp. Gregory Warner/NPR hide caption

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Gregory Warner/NPR

Mrs. Adad Hassan Jimali stands next to a sign for her private camp for displaced persons. The camp, which is in Mogadishu, Somalia, is called Nasiib Camp.

Gregory Warner/NPR

When a famine swept through Somalia in 2011, it was hard for aid workers to get food distributed. Most of the country was too dangerous for non-Somalis to do the work. Instead, the United Nations looked at satellite images of camps filling up with tents and dispatched locals to deliver the food. A local industry around distributing aid and sheltering the poor sprung up.

On today's show, we visit a country with almost no government, but a lot of entrepreneurs. And we see what happens when locals decide to make money by becoming humanitarians for profit.

Music: Dur-Dur Band's "Dooyo." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify. Download the Planet Money iPhone App.