Answer to Written Question: Poor management of humanitarian aid in Uganda
(Source: European Parliament)
Answer given by Mr Lenarčič
on behalf of the European Commission
1. In February 2018, the Commission informed the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) about the alleged fraud and illicit practices in relation to EU funds managed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in response to the refugee crisis in Uganda in 2016-2017. In June 2020, OLAF concluded that the Commission’s co-funded UNHCR operation in Uganda had not been implemented in accordance with the applicable contractual provisions. The financial impact on EU funds was estimated by OLAF at EUR 57,406. The recovery of the funds is being processed, following the closure of the related project in Uganda.
2. As soon as the Commission received allegations of fraud affecting EU funds, the matter was duly followed up according to the procedures in place, and the appropriate measures were taken to ensure sound financial management of EU funds. The Commission provides humanitarian assistance through partners, who respond to rigorous control systems and monitoring practices, aimed at preventing any kind of aid diversion and ensuring the highest accountability standards. Furthermore, the Commission undertakes frequent field monitoring visits to ensure that assistance reaches those for whom it was intended. This is valid across all humanitarian assistance instances, irrespective of the geographical areas or years of implementation.