UNODC Launches COVID-19 Anti-Corruption Response & Recovery Project

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Vienna (Austria), 18 November 2020 — The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has launched a new project to help Member States better respond to and recover from COVID-19.

With the support of the United States of America’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, UNODC will establish national anti-corruption procurement platforms in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Indonesia, Paraguay, the Philippines, South Africa and Timor-Leste.

These nine platforms will bring together national public procurement oversight bodies, supreme audit institutions and anti-corruption authorities to create networks or task forces focused on strengthening public procurement transparency and whistle-blower protection.

The COVID-19 Anti-Corruption Response and Recovery Project is particularly relevant during the health emergency created by the crisis, which has exacerbated existing corruption vulnerabilities in the health sector.

Vast resources have been allocated in the form of economic response and recovery packages to mitigate the debilitating effects of the pandemic and to shield people and businesses that are most vulnerable. Without adequate safeguards, the disbursement of such resources entails significant corruption risks which may reduce both the beneficial impact on individuals and the quality of services or supplies provided. Efforts to respond to this crisis and future emergency contexts must be protected by harnessing and strengthening existing anti-corruption knowledge, frameworks and infrastructure. 

These platforms afford recipients the opportunity to better address national anti-corruption challenges related to COVID-19 and enable UNODC to better respond to the specific needs of each country.