DR Congo health budget disappears without trace, NGO says

September 14, 2021 People's Journal 183 views

AFP, September 14, 2021 — DR Congo’s health authorities have failed to explain where millions of dollars meant for building hospitals and other treatment centres have gone, a public accountability group said on Monday.

The Congolese arm of the Publish What You Pay global network — primarily concerned with transparency in the resources sector — said it looked into 35 of 77 projects funded in the 2019 budget to the tune of 9.6 billion CFA francs (more than 14.6 million euros, $17.2 million).

“We note a very low execution of the health budget, as no project has been fully completed,” it said in a report.

“We have had difficulty following the projects” carried out, “we have not been able to see the traceability of funds”, said Brice Makosso, deputy coordinator of the Congolese coalition.

The NGO said it had submitted its report to the Ministry of Health two weeks before publication, but had received no response. An official at the ministry contacted by AFP declined to comment. \

The money should have been used, among other things, as part of the cost of building 12 general hospitals.

But despite the money having been disbursed and spent, work on the hospitals “was at a standstill in 2019”, Makosso said.

Funds were also allocated to equip dialysis centres in budgets from 2017, he said.

However, “these centres are not yet built, and therefore non-existent”.