The Red Cross mission in Central African Republic: Laundering of funds and inaction

This rainy season has been really hard for the residents of Central African Republic. The Ubangi River flowed over its banks and flooded the capital and surrounding areas. Many people have been the victims of this natural disaster. To give the victims shelter was one of the main objectives until the water went down. The city remained flooded until the end of November. Here the question arises: did the victims receive any support?

It should be mentioned that the Central African Republic has been suffering from a crisis since 2013. Some international organisations benefited from this context of difficult economic circumstances.

Currently, many international organisations have branch offices throughout the country. Their activities are aimed at establishing and maintaining peace, at providing assistance to local residents, at reducing the suffering of civilian populations and at preventing disasters of any kind. The International Committee of the Red Cross ranks among the main humanitarians in the RCA. The organisation is often mentioned in local mass media. But what could they possibly have done to deserve so much attention? Or do they pretend to help people?

The International Committee of the Red Cross has missions around the world. The organisation sees as its task proving protection and assistance to the victims of the armed conflicts and disasters of any kind. At the end of November, the organisation approved the document entitled “National strategic plan of response to the various natural disasters and floods in the Central African Republic” in collaboration with its partners. But what’s the point of mitigating the impact if they could prevent the problem?

Red Cross personnel has enough resources and a lot of experience. As for the mission in the Central African Republic, it has been operating in the country since 2013. Their protracted presence means that the personnel of the mission should be aware of harsh environmental conditions.

But the inaction doesn’t surprise. After all, it may be accounted for a human factor. It is striking that the direction of the international organisation is incapable of managing its finance perfectly illustrated by the latest action by the Netherlands Red Cross mission.

On December 9, the Netherlands Red Cross offered sanitation and hygiene kits to the local committees of the Central African Red Cross of the eight districts of the city of Bangui, Bimbo, and Bégoua. These kits were aimed at cleaning up the areas affected by the floods. Let’s look at the components of those kits: wheelbarrow, shovels, gloves, and mops. All these objects were donated by the government of the Netherlands, represented by the Ambassador of the Netherlands Karin Boven. It would have been fine, but they specified the amount of funding constituted 30 million francs CFA (50 thousand dollars USA).

All of this raises many questions, “Does it really cost so much? If it doesn’t, may some of that money be in a Netherlands pocket? We don’t have answers to these questions because Netherlands authorities didn’t publish a cost estimate. Where is this boutique with expensive shovels?” It is anyone’s guess.

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