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Corruption in Disaster Relief


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Most of these articles do not name names. We never see words like “deep state” or “illuminati” mentioned. And yet they divert funds on a massive scale from disaster relief.

For instance, we now know that funds given to the Presidents Fund and the Clinton Foundation never reached aid recipients on the ground. (1)

What is the scope of the problem of corruption in disaster relief and how can it be met? Here are some excerpts from articles commenting on the problem.


“How to keep desperately needed humanitarian aid out of the hands of the corrupt,” Transparency International, Oct. 16, 2017, at https://tinyurl.com/y6fuhjfb


http://goldenageofgaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/typhoon-aid-500x333.jpg 500w, http://goldenageofgaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/typhoon-aid-1... 160w, http://goldenageofgaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/typhoon-aid.jpg 640w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />Earthquakes and hurricanes devastating parts of Mexico and the Caribbean; flooding in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan affecting more than 41 million people; refugee crises in Syria and Myanmar; protracted crises in Afghanistan, Chad and the Central African Republic; and more than 20 million people facing starvation and famine across Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen in the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two…

Around the globe, tens of millions of people need humanitarian assistance from governments, humanitarian aid agencies, and the UN.

Humanitarian assistance financing has been rising year on year from around US$16.7 billion in 2010 to $27.3 billion in 2016. That’s a great step towards ensuring that essential help gets to those most in need after natural disasters or conflict.

But even when lives are at stake and people at their most vulnerable, corruption and other abuses are not uncommon.

Most international humanitarian operations take place in fragile states, with weak rule of law, inefficient or dysfunctional public institutions, and a limited ability to prepare for and prevent humanitarian disasters. Every country requiring a humanitarian response this year scores badly on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2016.

There are no specific figures on how much aid is lost to corruption, but it undermines humanitarian efforts in various ways.

Bribery and extortion distort decision-making, and increase the cost of goods and services. The amount of aid reaching the most vulnerable is reduced, or its quality is diminished.

Other forms of corruption – like nepotism and cronyism in the hiring of staff, or bias or political interference in the distribution of relief – can occur even when financial accounts seem in order. There can even be extortion of sexual favours in return for aid, and intimidation of staff so they’ll turn a blind eye to malfeasance.

The humanitarian aid sector has been confronting the challenge of corruption for over a decade but it is clear that greater investment in tackling corruption is needed. More specifically, key actors in the humanitarian sector – donor governments, the UN, humanitarian agencies, and host governments – need to become stronger and work more collectively in certain areas. …

Partnerships are key. International organisations should deepen the support they give to national NGOs, including ones providing organisational and operational capacity support, and identify opportunities for shared learning regarding good practice in managing corruption risks.


OECD, How Corruption Slows Disaster Recovery.  June 5, 2018 at https://theconversation.com/how-corruption-slows-disaster-recovery-...


Corruption kills

Corruption in Puerto Rico may have actually contributed to Hurricane Maria’s high death toll. While the government’s official tally is 64 storm-related deaths, a recent study puts the figure closer to 4,600 – in part because a prolonged blackout prevented many Puerto Ricans with chronic illness from getting necessary medical care.

After Hurricane Maria knocked out the island’s electric grid, the island’s power authority awarded a $300 million contract to the Montana-based company Whitefish Energy to repair it. The bidding process soon came under suspicion because it was clear that the company, which had just two employees, could never complete the task.

The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources opened an investigation and the Whitefish contract was canceled.

After $3.8 billion in federal aid for the power grid, some 11,000 Puerto Ricans are still without electricity. Officials say even a mild hurricane could disable the grid again.

We believe progress would have been quicker if Puerto Rico’s first big energy contract had been correctly executed. After a disaster, corruption can literally kill.  …

Unaccountable Donors

In the Caribbean, a developing region where some governments may be too small and cash-strapped to lead a wholesale recovery effort, corruption after natural disasters may be compounded by a lack of transparency among the international donors and humanitarian organizations that rush in to help.

After Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, for example, an unprecedented $13.5 billion in aid money flowed onto the island – more than double its gross domestic product.

Much of this money never made it to those who needed it. A 2011 study by U.S. researchers found that only 44 percent of Haitians affected by the quake received any aid at all.

According to a comprehensive analysis by the Center for Global Development, Haiti’s government received just 1 percent of humanitarian aid and perhaps 15 to 20 percent of longer-term relief aid. The rest was channeled to charities and nongovernmental organizations, whose resulting projects were in many cases impossible to identify.


“Chapter 5: Corruption in Disaster Relief” in Knowledge-Commitment-Action Against Corruption in Asia and the Pacific, at http://www.oecd.org/site/adboecdanti-corruptioninitiative/partnersh...


Emergency disaster relief efforts and the ensuing rebuilding operations, by their very nature, are especially exposed to corruption. Substantial aid flows—money, goods, and services—the vital need to act quickly, and the major infrastructure projects that are often part of the rebuilding phase after a disaster exacerbate the risk of corruption. In many cases the structures in place to oversee such projects are themselves disabled after major disasters.

Footnotes

(1) “The earthquake that devastated Haiti was caused by the Illuminati’s weather control technology; after the quake, former US presidents Bush and Clinton went there to divert into their own pockets the monies donated for aid and reconstruction. As for the people of Haiti, these six years later they still are living in unsanitary, substandard conditions just as before the earthquake hit, and many residences are makeshift hovels amidst the rubble of destroyed communities.” (Matthew’s Message, April 16, 2016, at http://www.matthewbooks.com.)

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