Dutch suspend Zambian health aid over graft claims

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The Dutch government is suspending all financial assistance to the Zambian health ministry following allegations of embezzlement of aid funds.

The Hague – The Dutch government said Thursday it had suspended aid to fund health projects in Zambia following allegations of corruption.

"While awaiting the outcome of a corruption investigation, the Netherlands has suspended all financial assistance to the Zambian health ministry," Dutch Development Minister Bert Koenders said in a statement.

He cited reports that a whistle-blower had alerted anti-corruption investigators in the southern African nation last week to the embezzlement of aid funds in the health sector.

All donors were alerted and an investigation launched, said Koenders. The results are expected shortly.

"The abuse of Dutch tax money is unacceptable," added the minister.

The Netherlands contributes about EUR 13 million for the funding of rural health care provision, the prevention of malaria, tuberculosis and HIV, and the training of medical staff in Zambia.

The total Dutch development cooperation budget is between EUR 4 and 5 billion a year.

AFP / Expatica

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