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Report: UN Funds Allocated for Somalia Untracked

Storyline:National News

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) spent tens of millions on various projects in Somalia without verifying that any work was being done, according to internal auditor reports cited by Fox News.

According to the UNDP project website, about $25 million was spent in 2013 on the audited projects mentioned in the organization’s internal report.

The report, prepared by UNDP’s Office of Audit and Investigations was based on an examination of UNDP’s Somalia country office in Kenya. The office serves as the main coordination hub for around 20 UN agencies.

In the course of the examination, the auditors found that multiple financial records were in disarray, project reports were “either poorly written or not prepared at all” and special board meetings on the accomplishment of projects were either delayed or not held at all.

The auditors noted that in 2013 no report was filed on how UN coordination money was spent. A number of other spending records had not been set up in UNDP’s global financial tracking system. Some of the records were set up in a way that made it impossible to calculate expenses.

The UNDP Kenya office “is now rolling out arrangements for third-party monitoring” in order to address the problem, a UNDP spokesman told Fox News.

Somalia is on the verge of a humanitarian disaster, as the country’s UN-backed government is battling the al-Shabaab Islamist militant group. Food shortage remains a major issue for the country, where over 200 thousand children under the age of five are acutely malnourished, according to the UN.

Humanitarian workers in Somalia are under a constant threat of al-Shabaab attacks. In June 2013, al-Shabaab militants struck the main UN compound in the country’s capital Mogadishu, killing eight local and international staffers, and forcing other UN staffers to remain in Kenya, where UN operations for Somalia are centered.

Source: RIA Novosti