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World Bank Suspends $100 Million Payment to the Democratic Republic of Congo

The World Bank has suspended a $100 million payment to the Democratic Republic of Congo that was meant to support the country’s education system.

In June 2020, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved the $ 800 million Emergency Equity and System Strengthening in Education Project (EESSE), which was implemented over four years. The project is meant to support the Government of DRC’s free primary education program and lower the school fee burden on households and increase access to primary schooling.

However, the World Bank suspended the funds after investigations into the government by Congo’s Inspector General of Finance revealed several shortcomings and alleged cases of fraud and corruption in connection with the use of public funds in the sector and weaknesses in internal controls.

The Washington based lender was supposed to make the first instalment in December; however, On Monday, they released a statement saying “In light of this findings, the disbursement scheduled for December is currently on hold, while we conduct our own fiduciary responsibility”.

The World Bank said it is working closely with the Congolese authorities to gather further information regarding the investigations’ findings, including any proposed corrective actions. The World Bank confirms its strong commitment and support to ongoing governance reforms in the education sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo, including in the strengthening of accountability mechanisms.

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