Watching Sports Relief 2012 and its makes me sick to see that the statistics of how many children are dying because of poverty every day, week and month seems to be increasing every year. Each year statistics get more and more shocking even though increasingly more celebrities and public personalities continue to embark on inspiring missions to raise awareness and encourage donations. With the amount of money rising each year, death figures should be decreasing, yet somehow they are not. And this isn’t because we, as an economically developed country, are not giving enough money, instead it is because the money is going to a government that is so corrupt that it would rather spend a large majority of the money on weapons and personal perks instead of helping save hundreds of thousands of lives of the citizen’s of its own country.
In the past two years it has been proven that the Department for International Development has lost £720,000 as a result of “fraud, corruption and abuse” by governments in the developing world using British funds. When a study was attempted to uncover and release a list of the projects and countries where fraud has been uncovered, it was denied. The reason given was that doing so would jeopardise the UK’s relationship with foreign governments. It has further refused to give details of exactly how much money has been misused.
In December last year the government announced it had frozen funding to the Ministry of Education in Kenya after $1.3million, intended to buy learning materials, had gone missing. At this time the Nigerian authorities were also trying to trace £165,000 of funding for training teachers, which had also disappeared.
All of this is money which we have donated after watching horrific videos on programs such as Sports Relief, which have promised our money will go to help save these children’s lives, give them an education and thus give them a prospect of a successful future to look forward to.
Over the past three years, the DfID (in charge of financial aid) has given £4.7million of funding to specialist units in the City of London and Metropolitan Police forced to investigate this fraud. This money, again, is coming from taxpayers.
How can an initial intended good deed, given primarily to help save dying children’s lives, suddenly become cause for increased corruption and further deaths?
And how do we know whom to trust?