Transparency International calls for comprehensive audit of Ebola funds in West Africa

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



Transparency International today called on government authorities and the United Nations to undertake a comprehensive audit of all Ebola donations from internal and external donors across West African nations devastated by this deadly health crisis.

There is far too little transparency in the management of Ebola funds. The first step is to conduct a full audit, which must include an in-depth accounting of all donations already received, how they were dispersed, and whether they achieved value for money. A first partial audit in Sierra Leone released on 14 February has already highlighted undocumented spending. Governments should also immediately open up to public scrutiny the amounts received and where they are being spent, as has been done by other countries suffering national emergencies. 

“Weak public financial management systems coupled with high levels of corruption in these three countries create many opportunities for the abuse of power, bribery and unethical actions that limit the ability of donations to be used effectively to stop the Ebola outbreak. When so much money floods into the region in such a short period of time, accountability for those funds should shoot to the top of any list of priorities,” said José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International.

The Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia led to an outpouring of funds by well-meaning individuals and institutions both national and international, including governments and citizens, to support the countries fighting the disease.

Citizens in the afflicted countries expressed appreciation for these donations but they also raised concerns with regards to the prudent and judicious use of the funds.

The fact that the Audit Service Sierra Leone has conducted a real time audit on the usage of the funds is welcomed, but more must be done across the region to ensure that all money is accounted for and well-spent.

Transparency International research shows that 48 per cent of patients in Sierra Leone and 40 per cent in Liberia paid bribes to access health services, according to Transparency International’s 2013 Global Corruption Barometer. This was when there was no national crisis or deadly epidemic.

“The quick spread of Ebola and the lack of readiness of health providers in countries afflicted has dramatically shown what happens when public institutions are weakened by chronic systemic corruption over time. This corruption sees resources diverted and patients’ needs ignored. Corruption is a serious crime that must be battled at all times. It is unbearable when it contributes to the deaths of thousands of poor people and those responsible must face the full extent of the law.

“If West Africa healthcare sectors were more transparent and accountable, they would have been better prepared to respond to the outbreak,” Ugaz added. “Now is the time to account for the corruption and start the process of building stronger health sectors.”

Humanitarian disasters like the Ebola outbreak require quick responses but they also require  corruption safeguards to ensure money is well spent. We call on the governments to review their policies, identify if corruption has occurred and prosecute those found guilty.

In the coming months as the countries start rebuilding their economies, the governments must also focus on identifying and mitigating corruption risks in strengthening the health sectors.

Transparency International has developed detailed risk assessment tools for this and we encourage governments and aid agencies ensure that best practice guidelines are followed.


For any press enquiries please contact

Chris Sanders
Tel: +49 30 34 38 20 666
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Latest

Support Transparency International

Apply Now for Transparency International School on Integrity!

Apply today for the Transparency School 2018 and spend an insightful week with anti-corruption enthusiasts from all over the world!

Blog: Making Summits Meaningful: A How to Guide for Heads of Government

Heads of Government spend a lot of time in glitzy international summits. World leaders shouldn't fly around the world just for a photo op or to announce new commitments they have no intention of keeping. Here's is a how-to guide for Heads of Government to make summits meaningful.

While the G20 drags its feet, the corrupt continue to benefit from anonymous company ownership

The corrupt don’t like paper trails, they like secrecy. What better way to hide corrupt activity than with a secret company or trust as a front? You can anonymously open bank accounts, make transfers and launder dirty money. If the company is not registered in your name, it can't always be traced back to you.

Urging leaders to act against corruption in the Americas

The hot topic at the 2018 Summit of the Americas is how governments can combat corruption at the highest levels across North and South America.

The impact of land corruption on women: insights from Africa

As part of International Women’s Day, Transparency International is launching the Women, Land and Corruption resource book. This is a collection of unique articles and research findings that describe and analyse the prevalence of land corruption in Africa – and its disproportionate effect on women – presented together with innovative responses from organisations across the continent.

Passport dealers of Europe: navigating the Golden Visa market

Coast or mountains? Real estate or business investment? Want your money back in five years? If you're rich, there are an array of options for European ‘Golden Visas’ at your fingertips, each granting EU residence or citizenship rights.

How the G20 can make state-owned enterprises champions of integrity

For the first time in its presidency of the G20, Argentina is hosting country representatives from across the globe to address the best ways of curtailing corruption and promoting integrity in state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

Europe and Central Asia: More civil engagement needed (Part II)

As follow-up to the regional analysis of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, additional examples from Albania, Kosovo and Georgia highlight the need for more progress in anti-corruption efforts in these countries and across the region.

Lutte contre la corruption en Afrique: Du bon et du moins bon

La publication de la dernière édition de l’Indice de perception de la corruption (IPC) offre un bon point de repère pour situer les efforts de lutte contre la corruption que l’Union africaine (UA) poursuivra tout au long de 2018

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media

Would you like to know more?

Sign up to stay informed about corruption news and our work around the world