UN warns of devastating effects of corruption on pandemic
United Nations, Oct 15 (Prensa Latina) The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, warned today about the devastating effects of corruption in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and called for more action to address this problem.
He said in a video message that the response to the health crisis creates new opportunities to exploit weak oversight and inadequate transparency, diverting funds from people in times of greatest need.
Governments can act quickly without verifying providers or determining fair prices, while unscrupulous traders sell defective products such as faulty lung ventilators, poorly manufactured tests or counterfeit medicines, he warned.
He also stressed that some surreptitious contracts between those who control the supply chains have generated outrageous costs for much-needed goods, skewing the market and denying many people life-saving treatment.
Faced with this situation, Guterres called for working together to stop theft and exploitation in the context of the pandemic by suppressing illicit financial flows and tax havens.
He also called for addressing the vested interests that benefit from secrecy and corruption, and exercising maximum vigilance over how resources are spent.
Corruption is criminal, immoral and the ultimate betrayal of public trust, and is even more damaging in times of crisis, as we are now experiencing with the Covid-19 pandemic, the Portuguese diplomat noted, and urged all governments and leaders to be transparent and accountable.
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