Monday, July 28, 2008

Transparency in emergency humanitarian aid delivery

The UN's IRIN news service reports on a call by the anti-corruption non-governmental organization Transparency International for increased transparency in the delivery of emergency humanitarian aid.

"There remains little knowledge about the extent or consequences of corruption in humanitarian assistance, little shared knowledge about preventing corruption under emergency circumstances beyond a few standard practices, and a degree of taboo about confronting it publicly", noted the TI, which researched the practices of seven major international NGOs.

The report states that problems range beyond simple financial misappropriation. These problems include many forms of “abuse of power”, such as cronyism, nepotism, “sexual exploitation and coercion and intimidation of humanitarian staff or aid recipients for personal, social or political gain, manipulation of assessments, targeting and registration to favour particular groups and diversion of assistance to non-target groups”.

The report added that humanitarian aid delivery is particularly vulnerable to corruption due to NGOs' difficulty in retaining institutional memory and the difficult circumstances in which such aid has to be delivered.

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