AusAID says some lost funds cannot be recovered

    A member of Australian Agency for International Development oversees the loading of humanitarian supplies to a military aircraft. At least 1.5 million Australian dollars worth of aid is lost to fraud and irregularities, according to the agency. Photo by: Australian Civil-Military Centre / CC BY

    How much of Australian aid lost to fraud and irregularities does the country’s aid agency expect never to recover? At least 1.5 million Australia dollars ($1.5 million), according to an Australian Agency for International Development official cited by The Canberra Times.

    The agency has been improving its fraud controls and stepping up efforts to recover lost funds over the years. But in some cases, it may be impossible to recover the money, according to Laurie Dunn, the agency’s first assistant director-general.

    One such case is the AU$1.2 million worth of food aid and equipment lost to the Eritrean government. Dunn said AusAID is still pushing for the return of the funds but admitted it would be difficult because the food had already been consumed.

    Dunn also noted AusAID might never recover AU$155,080 stolen from a program in Papua New Guinea and AU$258,391 from a separate PNG program focused on improving the country’s justice system.

    The aid official did point out the agency’s successes, including the recovery of $88,315 allegedly stolen from yet another PNG program.

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    About the author

    • Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.