Proleung Khmer

Monday, April 25, 2005

Corruption at World Food Program

Corruption is so ingrained in Cambodia that even staff at the World Food Program in Cambodia got caught in the food scandal.


  • Last Updated 22/04/2005, 22:36:38

    The Cambodian government has agreed to pay back $US900,000 dollars to the United Nation's food agency after fraud was uncovered in the program last year.

    The World Food Programme (WFP) launched an investigation in February 2004 into a missing $1.2 million.

    The money was to have been spent as part of the agency's, three-year "Food for Work" program.

    Ramaraj Saravanamuttu, from the WFP, says Cambodia has agreed to repay $900,000 in annual payments over three years, with the first installment already paid.

    At least seven WFP staff were immediately implicated in the scam and resigned or were sacked, while government officials, rice traders and transport workers were also implicated.

    Fourteen out of Cambodia's 24 provinces and municipalities are suffering from drought.

    The WFP began operations in Cambodia in 1979.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:42 AM  

  • Eight more UN staff sacked or step down over Cambodian rice scandal

    Mon Apr 25, 2:58 AM ET

    PHNOM PENH, (AFP) - Eight more Cambodian staff working for the UN's food agency have been sacked or resigned in the wake of a 900,000-dollar rice fraud scandal, bringing the total to 15 employees, the agency said.

    Seven local staff working for the World Food Programme (WFP) were dismissed or stepped down early last year after the agency discovered discrepancies in its 72-million-dollar, three-year "Food for Work" programme.

    WFP acting country director Ramaraj Saravanamuttu told AFP that a further eight staff were sacked or had decided to resign as investigations continued in late 2004 and early this year.

    "It included one head of a sub-office (in Kampong Speu, who resigned), and the more junior staff in other offices, largely field monitors and programme assistants," he said, adding that the investigation had now been concluded.

    No expatriate staff lost their jobs over the affair, he said.

    The WFP has three sub-offices in mainly agricultural Cambodia, including in Kampong Speu, just west of the capital Phnom Penh. Government officials, rice traders and transport workers were also implicated in the scandal.

    The Cambodian government has agreed to pay back the 900,000 dollars in three annual installments, with the first already paid.

    "Food for Work" projects were halted as a result of the investigations but are now expected to begin again next month with new checks and balances in place, Saravanamuttu said last week.

    The WFP began operations in Cambodia, one of the world's poorest nations, in 1979. Its Food for Work projects were supposed to reach 1.3 million recipients over its three-year life.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:44 AM  

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