Is Italy Cutting Support for IFAD Over Agency Head’s Personal Spending?

    Kanayo Nwanze, president of the Interanational Fund for Agricultural Development, speaks to reporters following the opening session of the Agriculture and Rural Development Day, a side event to the climate change summit in Copenhagen on Dec. 12, 2009. Italy has decided to halt funding for the annual meeting of IFAD's Governing Council in protest of Nwanze's allegedly bloated personal expenses. Photo by Neil Palmer / International Center for Tropical Agriculture

    Italy may have decided to stop financing the annual meeting for the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s Governing Council, U.N. sources indicate.

    The decision is in protest of IFAD President Kanayo Nwanze’s allegedly bloated personal expenses, the sources told the Italian Insider.

    Italy has, until recently, voiced support for the Rome-based agency.

    Nwanze supposed overspending, which includes renting a villa in one of Rome’s expensive districts, will be on the agenda of the council’s 2011 meeting, the sources said. They added that there is a motion to reestablish IFAD’s Emoluments Committee to review the president’s salaries and benefits.

    The IFAD Evaluation committee is set to meet towards the end of November while the Executive Board has a scheduled meeting for the second week of December.

    The issue of the president’s expenses has been repeatedly raised by IFAD’s executive board but his “inner circle” have not appraised the body of the full extent of Nwanze personal expenditure, explained the sources, who the Italian Insider said requested anonymity.

    IFAD has issued a statement clarifying media reports about the alleged exorbitant personal expenses of the agency’s president, Kanayo Nwanze. The agency says the president’s salary is “at par” with the salaries received by heads of other Rome-based U.N. agencies and that his personal expenses are annually audited “as per the Fund’s normal practice.”

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      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.

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