Oxfam probes financial irregularities in Pakistan flood relief programme

Charity calls in PricewaterhouseCoopers to investigate and puts new spending in Sindh province on hold


Oxfam has commissioned an "independent external financial investigation" into financial irregularities in its flood relief programme in the Pakistani province of Sindh, the charity has announced.

In a statement, the charity said it had commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to investigate irregularities in the relief programme, which was launched in response to the floods in Pakistan in July last year.

"Oxfam’s own internal monitoring and auditing system identified the financial irregularity currently being investigated," the statement said.

"The financial irregularities initially identified, even if confirmed, would represent less than 2 per cent of Oxfam’s emergency flood response spending in Pakistan.

"Oxfam is committed to upholding the strictest and most rigorous financial controls and ensuring its programme is being delivered in a transparent and accountable manner."

It did not spell out what the irregularities were and a spokeswoman for the charity declined to give more detail.

The statement said the charity would not be making any further financial commitments until the investigation has been completed and would endeavour to recover any money involved.

The spokeswoman said it was Oxfam’s policy to always make financial issues public where it was necessary to call in an external investigator.

"This last happened in Aceh in Indonesia following the tsunami," she said.

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