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September 1998, Volume 5, Number 9

UNHCR Under Fire

The Financial Times reported on July 29, 1998 that alleged UNHCR had spent money without proper accounting, including paying for ammunition flights for the Zairean soldiers guarding Hutu refugee camps in 1996. UNHCR in some cases spent up to 30 percent of its funds on protecting staff who are assisting refugees.

UNHCR issued a detailed report that rebutted many of the charges, saying they were based on outdated information. The UNHCR has an annual budget of $1 billion; the US contributes $260 million a year.

"Refugees' agency lost in wilderness of bungling and waste," "Ideals fall prey to political pressure," "Pressure grows on respected leader," Financial Times, July 29, 1998. "UNHCR counters claims of financial mismanagement," Financial Times, August 10, 1998.