NGOs gobble up Rohingya funds

Operational cost much higher than what refugees get

Operational costs of a section of United Nations organisations and international NGOs working in Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar are higher than what they actually spend for the repressed people of the community.

Comparing to their expenditure for programmes for Rohingya people and local communities in Bangladesh, salary and other operational costs of some UN organisations and global NGOs are much higher, said Transparency International Bangladesh in a report released on Thursday.

There were allegations of corruption and irregularities in utilising funds meant for programmes planned for target beneficiaries, TIB executive director Iftekharuzzaman said at a press conference at Midas Centre in the city's Dhanmondi.

UN Women was on top of the list with spending 32.6 per cent of its fund as operational cost, according to the TIB report launched in Dhaka with reference to information collected from the office of the UN resident coordinator.
Operational cost of UNHCR was 25.98 per cent, UNFPA 18 per cent, World Health Organisation 17 per cent and IOM 14.7 per cent.

Operational costs were relatively less in the cases of WFP (10.3 per cent) and UNICEF (3.0 per cent). UN Women spends about 37.5 per cent of its fund for beneficiaries, while UNHCR 74 per cent, UNFPA 82 per cent, WHO 83 per cent, IOM 85.3 per cent, WFP 89.7 per cent and UNICEF 97 per cent.

The programming expenses of the UN bodies also include operational costs of the partner NGOs engaged in implementation of activities on the grounds. TIB said the government has no mechanism for ensuring accountability and control on programme funded by the UN agencies.