Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International has initiated a monitoring system for aid funds pouring into quake-ravaged Haiti to ensure that donor cash goes to the rightful recipients, the organization told humanitarian news agency Alertnet.
TI launched the initiative as it released a handbook titled “Preventing Corruption in Humanitarian Operations,” which picked up lessons from the widely reported misuse of donor funds in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
“Just as in the (Asian) tsunami, there’s a huge amount of resources going in and it’s really important that someone is keeping an eye on it,” Alertnet quoted Roslyn Hees, a senior TI advisor and co-author of the handbook.
Now operating a small chapter in Haiti, TI is said to be coordinating with major donors to set up the monitoring project within one or two months. The organization is also working at securing funds for the project.
“It’s what I’d call a perfect storm for high corruption risk: you have a seriously damaged institutional infrastructure, a country with endemic corruption, a weak or fragile state in the best of circumstances and sudden influxes of huge amounts of resources to a highly vulnerable population,” Hees said.
Haiti ranks 168th out of 180 countries in TI’s Corruption Perceptions Index.