Those innocents who still believe that the money the government spends on its various anti-poverty and social security schemes reaches the poor would do well to visit the website of the World Bank’s anti-fraud unit. Its new annual integrity report has photographic evidence about how World Bank aid is misused. In one African country, a new schoolhouse is used by local officials to store onions while the children study in a thatched-roof hovel.
Last week, the anti-fraud unit also released a report detailing corruption in health programmes in India that were financed by the World Bank. Once again, there is evidence of how money has been used to build substandard clinics and dispensaries, as well as other horrors.
All this is more evidence that throwing more money into a black hole is not much of a solution. What we need is better monitoring of how the money is spent—and ensuring it is not pilfered.