Just when you thought that you had seen everything, here come the World Bank and the United Nations to claim their slice of the government bailout pie. According to the Times Online, “The UN and the World Bank are lobbying for a portion of the billions of dollars allocated to bailing out the West’s banking systems to be diverted to prevent 400 million people sinking into poverty across Asia in the wake of the global economic crisis.” All the world has to do is allocate some 1 percent of their bailout packages (between $5 and $8 billion in the case of the most recent U.S. stimulus package) to the noble stewards of the Bank and the UN.
Whatever could go wrong?
In the case of the U.N., how about:
- The Iraqi Oil-for-Food scandal that Saddam Hussein used to generate over $10 billion in illegal revenue, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office;
- A huge corruption scandal in which over 40 percent of U.N. procurement for peacekeeping was tainted by fraud;
- Widespread incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse by U.N. personnel in Bosnia, Burundi, Cambodia, Congo, Guinea, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Kosovo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Sudan.
As for the World Bank, this article by Fox News is a damning indictment of how the Bank can be used by unscrupulous politicians to advance their personal interests at the expense of the Bank’s reputation and the hard-earned taxpayer dollars that fund the organization.
Reportedly, Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and World Bank President Robert Zoellick will be pushing for this fund in the upcoming G-20 summit. Can they seriously think that developed countries should entrust one cent, much less 1 percent of their economic stimulus expenditures, to institutions so demonstrably vulnerable to manipulation, corruption and fraud? Yes they can.