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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