Report on the efficiency and effectiveness of EU contributions channelled through United Nations Organisations in conflict affected countries

European Court of Auditors (ECA) The amounts, channelled by EuropeAid through UN organisations, are substantial, in the region of 4000 million euro for the five year period from 2005 to 2009. This audit is the second part of the two phase audit. The first audit dealt with monitoring and decision making and concluded that the monitoring process should be more thorough, with increased focus on results, and that all decisions to work through the UN should be clearly evidenced. These conclusions were published in Special Report 15/2009 of January 2010.

The present audit focuses on conflict affected areas and, in particular, on projects in Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan over the period 2006 – 2008. It complements the earlier report by its emphasis on efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability.

The report acknowledges the particular difficulties involved in delivering aid in conflict affected countries and the fact that the Commission has been able, through the UN, to deliver aid in areas which would otherwise have been very difficult to target. In these circumstances, the overall impact of the activities funded through UN organisations was positive.

Nevertheless, this report sets out a number of significant points which need to be addressed by the Commission. There is a need to establish clear practical objectives, which can be monitored, for all projects and a reasonable timetable for their execution should be established. Reports from the UN, which are the key source of information for the Commission, are frequently late and incomplete. The lack of sufficient emphasis on efficiency and the assessment of project costs is another area which needs the Commission’s attention.

While acknowledging that the Commission has taken some steps to tackle the issues raised, Mr Pinxten, the Court Member with specific responsibility for this report, underlines the necessity of ensuring the sound financial management of all funds channelled by the Commission through the UN, irrespective of where that aid is delivered.

Full details of the audit may be found in the full text of the special report.

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