The aid budget needs greater scrutiny

August 03, 2016 9:52 AM

An Investigation by the BBC has revealed that a charity receiving taxpayers’ money has links to a strange group which has been likened to a cult.

Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) runs charity projects in Africa with programmes ranging from farming to health to education.

However, the investigation found that DAPP staff members are pressured into making payments from their salaries of up to 50 per cent to The Teachers Group - a “cult-like” organisation run by a man wanted by Interpol over fraud charges.

DAPP, has been given £5.6 million of taxpayers’ money and there are serious concerns about how it has been spent. The Daily Mail reports that £2 million was allegedly used by DAPP to build a college the Teachers Group used to recruit new members.

Clearly this is not the purpose for which this money was intended.

The Department for International Development has responded to these findings by suspending its funding of DAPP and launched an investigation. But it must be asked why there was not sufficient scrutiny to prevent such a situation.

The aid budget is enormous and it is vitally important that it is spent wisely to deliver the exact thing it is granted for. Failing to do so produces poor value for money for the taxpayer, and as reported today, may cause significant harm.

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