Aceh Anti-Corruption Movement Calculates that 30 to 40 Percent of Aid Funds Have Been Tainted

Funds have been frozen and projects are on hold while audits are being undertaken. To date, only 10.4 percent of the funds allocated by the government have actually been spent.

Unscrupulous building contractors for projects carried out by two NGOs, Save the Children and Oxfam, built structures so flimsy that a new wave would wash them away. Instead of sinking foundations up to 60 centimeters, they propped wooden stilts on stones without any foundation. The timber used was substandard and is already warping. Although the contractors have been dismissed, neither compensation nor criminal proceedings are likely.

The Aceh Anti-Corruption Movement recommended that Save the Children demolish all 741 buildings and start over. The NGO may thus have to write off more than £400,000 spent on schools and other buildings in Bireun, Pidie and Lhokseumawe districts.

Save the Children says it has to date constructed 798 new houses. Its inspection found 612 of them requiring major reconstruction and the remaining 186 requiring moderate or minor work. The group has temporarily suspended new construction.

Additional cases of fraud and corruption have been uncovered by the Aceh Anti-Corruption Movement, the government’s Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Agency, and others.

Related Links:

Michael Sheridan, “Massive Fraud Hits Tsunami Aid,” The Sunday Times (UK), 16 April 2006.
Link: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-2136598,00.html, and
“Update on Housing Reconstruction in Aceh, Indonesia” (Save the Children Alliance press release), ReliefWeb, 18 April 2006.
Link: http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/EKOI-6NZ4SC?OpenDocument