US Aid Agency Failing to Assess Fraud Risks in Ukraine, Nigeria, Somalia, Report Reveals

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 - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 01.05.2024
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Since the start of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, the US Agency for International Development has provided the latter with $2 billion in humanitarian assistance, $2.9 billion in development assistance, and $22.9 billion in direct budgetary support.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) failed to properly assess and document fraud risks in its operations in Nigeria, Somalia, and Ukraine, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report.
"We reviewed how USAID manages risks, particularly in three countries currently experiencing violent conflict: Nigeria, Somalia, and Ukraine," the report said on Tuesday. "We found that USAID didn't comprehensively assess and document relevant fraud risks in these countries."
In Ukraine, corruption remains a concern and the conflict as well as the imposition of martial law by the Kiev government have all created circumstances in which corruption can continue to flourish, the GAO acknowledged.
"Perceptions of corruption in Ukraine remain high, with Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index ranking Ukraine as 104th of 180 countries in 2023," the report said.
However, USAID still has not conducted comprehensive program-level fraud risk assessments covering relevant fraud risks or subsequently developed comprehensive fraud risk profiles specific to Nigeria, Somalia, or Ukraine. As a result, it cannot ensure that it is taking steps to mitigate all relevant fraud risks in these countries, the GAO reported.