#9 mn tsunami aid missing: UK watchdog | india | Hindustan Times
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#9 mn tsunami aid missing: UK watchdog

india Updated: Nov 24, 2006 12:45 IST
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Nine million pounds contributed by the British government as aid for victims of the Asian tsunami have gone missing, according to a House of Commons watchdog body.

The government gave 53 million pounds to charity organisations but 9 million pounds remains "unaccounted for". The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the House of Commons has asked ministers to urgently seek accounts from the charity organisations.

The tsunami, which struck on Boxing Day in 2004, devastated coastal regions in India and elsewhere around the Indian Ocean after an underwater earthquake. Nearly 300,000 people were reported killed.

PAC chairman Edward Leigh praised the Department for International Development (DFID) for its "swift and impressive" response, he added: "It is clear now, however, that the department has some lessons to learn."

"Nearly a year and a half after, it still had no idea whether some 9 million pounds of the nearly 53 million pounds donated to agencies had been spent or not. The department must make sure organisations given grants provide audited evidence that the money was actually spent on the victims of the disaster."

However, a DFID spokesperson said: "For the aid delivered to help victims of the tsunami, we know how that money was spent. Two and a half million pounds of unspent aid money has been returned."

"And we have agreed with some partners that any unspent money is now reallocated towards longer term humanitarian projects."