We at the New Dawn-Liberia, on Monday, April 12, 2010, published a story under the caption: Money for the Poor Lost Thru Corrupt NGOs. Our interest in that story, lifted from the UK Independence in London, arose out of growing exploitation of poverty-stricken Liberians by non-governmental organizations or NGOs operating under the guise of serving humanity.
In that story, we quoted investigations as revealing that money donated by British Taxpayers for the poor here and elsewhere were landing in the hands of corrupt NGOs and state officials, something which may discourage further funding from the British Department for International Development or DFID Fund.
The United Kingdom, through its aid agency, DFID is supporting initiatives that offer free health services to the poor here and in other developing countries as part of its proposed global action plan for achieving the U.N. Millennium Development Goals by 2015, with new commitments to support health, nutrition and climate change initiatives in the developing world.
Apparently, most of the funds were obtained by some NGOs and developing countries through fraudulent means, and that authorities at DFID were keeping these names very close to their chests, we join all well-meaning people of the African continent and elsewhere in rejecting as unjustifiably unacceptable.
Considering the US$11.2bn set aside for the poor and the US$14,440,000 loss sustained by the British aid agency over the past five years as a result of “fraud, corruption and abuse” by governments in the developing world or NGOs using British funds, we do believe that the decision to protect the identities of these corrupt charities and governments was a complete disservice to the British taxpayers and motivation for such criminals to further plunge the suffering people of the third world, including Liberia into increased socio-economic degradation.
We at the New Dawn, On behalf of the voiceless, can only pray and hope that the names of NGOs and government institutions in Liberia benefitting from the DFID Fund will be exposed. We and the people of Liberia need to know because NGO activities nowadays in Liberia seem far from positively impacting the socio-economic well being of the poor.
Most NGO activities in our country today are characterized by self-aggrandizement resulting from the “fabulous lies and deceit” told by them in their administrative and financial reports to donor institutions.
If government institutions are actually in this corruption web as the investigations suggest, who else it could be other than those entering the government with such corrupt NGO mentality.
We are of the fervent belief that this scandal or financial impropriety may not only be existing in DFID, but also the UNDP, USAID, NED, etc., etc that are in partnership with local Liberian NGOs. We are urging these organizations to begin identifying independent monitors not known by their partners to counter-check or thoroughly assess their activities and the impact they make on community life as a way of confirming whatever administrative and financial reports received from these NGOs.
Such exercise by these monitors and donor agencies must incorporate community leaders and dwellers who should be the direct beneficiaries of this donor funding.
We at the New Dawn can guarantee that when this mechanism is put into place and executed, donors can truly be assured of accountability and transparency in their assistance to Liberia.