Press release 19th Aug 2010

Fear of misuse of funds should not halt humanitarian aid to Pakistan

Dominic Kavakeb 
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As international concern mounts about the humanitarian disaster that is engulfing Pakistan, there are also concerns that emergency relief may have been slow to take off because of widespread fears that funds may not reach those who need it.

19 August 2010 - The UK is one of Pakistan’s largest aid donors and today the UK and Pakistan chapters of the global anti-corruption coalition, Transparency International, join forces to urge the UK Government, the public and aid agencies not to hold back on their emergency response for fear that funds might be misused.

Syed Adil Gilani, Chairman of Transparency International Pakistan, and Chandrashekhar Krishnan, Executive Director of Transparency International UK, have issued the following statement:

"Nature’s fury has made millions of poor Pakistani citizens victims of one of this century’s worst humanitarian disasters. That tragedy would be compounded if fears about corruption were to reduce aid from the UK government and public. We believe the answer is to have adequate safeguards for greater transparency monitoring and accountability in the disbursement of emergency relief as well as aid for longer-term reconstruction efforts."

"Citizens should also be involved in decision-making those reporting corrupt behaviour should be protected, and the corrupt punished. Corruption should not be a reason for withholding aid in desperate humanitarian crises. Transparency International’s handbook for dealing with such crises, and important recommendations made in the wake of the devastating 2005 earthquake in northern Pakistan, show how corruption risks can be reduced so that aid reaches those who need it most."

Notes to editor

1. Transparency International’s handbook Preventing Corruption in Humanitarian Operations offers a menu of best practice tools for preventing and detecting corruption in humanitarian operations that includes ways to track resources, confront extortion and detect aid diversion. The handbook, part of TI’s broader work to stop corruption in humanitarian assistance, covers policies and procedures for transparency, integrity and accountability, and specific corruption risks, such as supply chain management and accounting. It can be downloaded from
2. Following the earthquake that devastated northern Pakistan in October 2005 Transparency International and Transparency International Pakistan convened a two-day international workshop in February 2006. Key government agencies, international donors and experts, as well as both national and international civil society organisations, participated. The workshop drew on lessons from the 2005 earthquake and earlier disasters, and identified a framework of relevant good practice and stakeholder responsibilities to be taken by government, local and international civil society and donors.