The UN report highlights the risks of corruption in emergency funding
Kaieteur News – The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in its report entitled “COVID-19 Vaccines and Pollution Risks: Preventing pollution in the manufacture, distribution and distribution of vaccines,” has identified corruption risks in emergency finance.
Given the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has left countries around the world relentlessly hunting for vaccines and other medical supplies to combat the virus, pollution risks now be intensified.
The organization has outlined that in response to a crisis, large sums of money are being directed to address a critical and complex problem quickly. “In June 2020, the International Monetary Fund estimated that approximately 11 trillion US dollars (US $) was allocated globally as fiscal aid to the COVID-19 response,” the report noted, adding that World Bank in October 2020, adding The US Board of Executive Directors approved $ 12 billion for developing countries to finance, buy and distribute COVID-19 vaccines for their populations.
In light of that, the report warned that with large inflows of funds being distributed quickly, they could be vulnerable to corruption if appropriate due diligence criteria are not in place.
Further, he referred to a scandal that occurred during the 2014 Sierra Leone Ebola outbreak, where it was found that there was a lack of documentation of almost US $ 3.3 million in payments from accounts under the direction of the Sierra Leone Government Ebola and that US $ 2.5 million in payments had been made. incomplete documentation. The investigation was conducted by the country’s audit service and in its report, it was noted that there were many examples of apparent fraud and corruption. “For example, in procuring supplies and payments for Ebola response workers, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is estimated to have lost millions in funding due to fraud and collusion in the Ebola response,” UNODC highlighted.
In expressing the above challenges, the organization has suggested that states consider immediate and long-term response measures to identify and mitigate pollution risks that could compromise their population’s access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. He lamented that the UN Convention against Corruption is the only universal legally binding anti-corruption tool and provides a global framework and key tools to promote accountability, probity and transparency, “at times of crisis, during and beyond COVID-19 pandemic. “
In addition, it was reported that the ongoing pandemic continues to rise worldwide and that morbidity and mortality rates continue to climb. It now demonstrates the urgency of developing and ensuring access to affordable, safe and efficient vaccines, and their rapid and fair use.
According to the UNODC, a critical response from governments will be needed to ensure access to their populations and to date, many governments have stated their goal to establish COVID-19 vaccine programs that will cover their entire population.