Red Cross is one of the most trustworthy agencies to which individuals and entities transfer their donations. However, the agency reported some significant losses during the recent Ebola crisis in West Africa. Following investigations, there were more than $5 million funds lost to fraud and corruption. These illegal activities took place from inside the organization.
Red Cross Continues to Defend the Good Work They’ve Done So Far, Including Ebola Crisis Relief
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies carried out their own internal investigation regarding fraud suspicions. In light of their findings, the agency claimed they hold zero tolerance for fraud.
Red Cross’s report revealed long-term illegal activities that unfolded between 2014 and 2016. The period corresponds to the Ebola crisis that concerned West African regions.
Most of the irregular operations happened in three African countries. These are Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. Within these territories, staff members attended to patients’ needs and averted at least 10,500 additional cases of Ebola.
“This fraud must not in any way diminish the tremendous courage and dedication of thousands of volunteers and staff during the Ebola.”
First signs of such a large scale fraudulent activity appeared on October 20. However, the internal investigations started uncovering its full extent in early November.
IRFC Lost Around $5 Million to Fraud
Most of the funds disappeared in Sierra Leone. These assets totaled around $2.13 million and went missing after conflicts between former IRFC members and local bank representatives. Reports indicated that the exchange rate was based on loose rates.
On the other hand, fraud activities within Guinea were ascribed to bloated customs bills coupled with fake bills. The total loss in this region accounted for $1.17 million.
These were the rough findings of the internal report that sparked uproar at an international level. Nonetheless, the IRFC suspects further irregular money leaks. The organization announced the upcoming publication of two other investigations.
IRFC is not at its first time when it reports losing control over funding. Red Cross has previously overestimated the financial toll for crisis reliefs. The result accounted for another loss of $2.7 million.
Considering these frequent financial leaks, Red Cross implemented additional clauses. These new rules are called ‘triple defense.’ Among their new changes is the creation of an Audit and Risk Commission. These will help the board avoid further fraud and corruption cases.
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