Corruption in emergency fund responses to COVID-19

Countries disburse billions to help the most vulnerable and those hit hardest by the pandemic. Corruption drains public resources and undermines governments’ ability to serve public interests and provide socio-economic support for citizens and businesses in distress. Embezzlement, bribes and price gouging in several essential sectors, but most prominently in the health sector, are only a few examples of corruption in the current pandemic. Many countries adopt a “pay now, check later” approach in providing support grants to businesses impacted by COVID-19. This, however, can lead to the abuse of emergency business grants by established companies that…

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Corruption in public health in the context of COVID-19

COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerabilities in health systems and public service delivery throughout the world as myriad cases of misuse of public funds, lax contracting processes and maladministration have come to light. The severe consequences of corruption are more tangible than ever before in the current COVID-19 crisis. Corruption hinders people from receiving medicine, vaccines, vital protection and treatment. It also deprives healthcare workers of the much-needed medical supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE). Nurses and doctors lack access to surgical alcohol, let alone masks, gloves, protective gowns, and other essential medical supplies. Moreover, if the quality…

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Corruption in public procurement in the context of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world hard. States have taken dramatic measures to contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including large-scale acquisition of life-saving medical equipment and supplies. As the current global health emergency requires urgent action, corrupt actors may take advantage of emergency protocols and rapid response to collude with contractors and use shortcuts to help speed up procurement and disbursement processes. Others may make deals with domestic manufacturers in awarding millions to produce medical equipment. Some may also force hospitals to favour one supplier over another even though their products are more expensive and…

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Social entrepreneurs have the solutions to get the Sustainable Development Goals back on track

AS THE VIRTUAL UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY DEBATES HOW TO GET THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS BACK ON TRACK, SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS HAVE THE SOLUTIONS Gloom on zoom may be the simplest way to describe the mood this week at the first virtual United Nations General Assembly. World leaders have been wrestling with the grim truth that the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, agreed when they met in New York five years ago, have been knocked even further off track by Covid-19. As the recent Social Progress Index showed, on current trends the SDGs will not be achieved before 2082 –…

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