Corruption is deeply entrenched in
Somalia’s economy and society.
The country holds the
lowest rank on Transparency International’s latest Corruption
Transparency International (
www.Transparency.org ), the global
anti-corruption organisation, has called today on the Somali
government, donor agencies and humanitarian agencies to take
critical steps to address corruption in the delivery of aid to
ensure humanitarian assistance reaches those most in need in
Somalia’s ongoing conflict and complex emergency have
displaced millions from their homes.
The country remains weakened by years of consecutive crises:
famine, poor rains and harvests, drought and other natural
Nearly five million people are in need of life-saving
assistance and livelihood support.
Yet the delivery of aid is complicated by insecurity,
conflict and corruption.
Corruption risks exist across the entire humanitarian
programme cycle, from head offices in Nairobi, Kenya to
operations in southern Somalia, according to a new Transparency
International report published today.
The report Collective resolution to enhance
accountability and transparency in emergencies:
southern Somalia (
http://APO.af/qhyfvG ), developed in
partnership with Humanitarian Outcomes, is the first
independent review of corruption in southern Somalia’s
Over 120 in-depth interviews and community consultations were
conducted to identify corruption risks and produce a set of
recommendations on how to mitigate those risks in the future.
Corruption is deeply entrenched in Somalia’s economy and
The country holds the lowest rank on Transparency
International’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index.
"Corruption affects all sectors in southern Somalia – and
humanitarian assistance is no exception.
"But this is not a reason to reduce aid funding, rather it is
a call to strengthen measures to mitigate the risks and ensure
that the resources are used for their intended purpose:
"to alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable," said
Samuel Kimeu, Executive Director of Transparency International
The study shows that corruption risks exist in the
identification of local partners, sometimes through collusion
between international and national agency staff, and in the
awarding of contracts to private contractors and humanitarian
The values of contracts can also be inflated to include
kickbacks in order to gain contracts.
The negotiation of conditions for access to affected
communities, as noted in the Secure Access to Volatile
Environments research study, often requires some form of
concession or payment, which can include paying at checkpoints
and paying unofficial taxes, amongst others.
This form of corruption tends not to be discussed within or
between agencies, which means decisions can have unintended
impacts on other aid agencies and over the longer term.
The selection and targeting of aid recipients, one of the
most commonly acknowledged areas of risk and corruption within
the humanitarian chain, can take place at many levels such as by
favouring geographic areas, favouring family and friends,
creating so-called ‘ghost’ beneficiaries, and ‘taxing’
Monitoring, and the choice of monitoring mechanisms, has
become one of the key stages in the programme cycle at which
leverage can be exerted for personal or organisational gain,
with pressure to write reports that are more favourable than
their findings suggest.
This contributes to an organisational culture in which
accountability and integrity are not prioritised, which in turn
may influence attitudes to corruption.
"Some examples of good-practice among individual agencies
exist such as detailed analysis of the operating context,
increased scrutiny of private contractors and better
communication with the local population.
"Yet more comprehensive and coordinated action across all
stakeholders is needed.
"Anti-corruption efforts need to be re-doubled across the
board," said Kimeu.
In particular, Transparency International makes the following
Somali government should:
Develop and implement strategies and policies to increase the
integrity of humanitarian assistance.
Improve humanitarian access to vulnerable populations in
Donor agencies should:
Take concrete measures to protect humanitarian action from
political interference and increase the impartiality of
Develop shared approaches to managing risks which may
encourage transparent reporting.
Humanitarian aid agencies should:
Be open, principled and supportive in addressing corruption
pressure and threats and actively encourage staff to report
Integrate corruption risk analysis in risk management
processes and develop, and review existing, monitoring tools and
Report transparently any requests for facilitation payments
and seek joint multi-agency positions on administrative
Invest in greater staff skills in understanding local culture
and power structures, and in communicating effectively with
Funded by the European Commission’s humanitarian aid
department, this report is the first of a series of four case
studies looking at corruption risks in the delivery of
humanitarian assistance in complex emergencies as well as
recommendations on how to prevent corruption. Case studies on
Afghanistan, Guinea (Ebola) and Lebanon (Syrian refugees) will
be published in 2017.