From the Swedish Embassy Website: Sida freezes support over suspected misuse of funds in Zambia
Updated: 18 September 2018
Sida is freezing support over suspected misuse of funds within Social Cash Transfer programme in Zambia. Finland, Great Britain and Ireland are also suspending their support.
Sweden supports cash transfers to the poorest and most vulnerable in Zambia through the Social Cash Transfer programme. Increasing evidence suggests that cash transfers is an effective means to combatting poverty. The poor and vulnerable get increased possibilities to make economic decisions over, for instance, minor investments in their household or towards increased productivity in their farming, buying more nutritious food or to pay for school fees. A high proportion of the beneficiaries are women.
After strong suspicions concerning misuse of funds within the social cash transfers, Sida and the other donors have frozen the use of funds. Problems within the programme were discovered during the spring of 2018, but not until August were there suspicions of misuse of funds.
The Zambian Office of the Auditor General is investigating
The Zambian Office of the Auditor General is making an investigation into the matter and Sida is carefully following the developments. There are not yet any reports on the amount suspected to have been misused. The agreement between Sweden and the Government of Zambia on support to the Social Cash Transfer programme, covers a total of 165 MSEK for the years 2016-2018. Out of these 130 MSEK has been disbursed up until now.
Sida is part of a group of cooperating partners, which includes Finland, Great Britain and Ireland, who provide financial support to the programme. The main part of the programme, however, around two thirds, comes from the Government of Zambia.
Corruption is a societal problem that hampers development and makes it more difficult to combat poverty. Sida works actively to detect corruption, acts on all suspicions of corruption of misuse within our contributions and supports anti-corruption in our cooperation countries.