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A displaced Iraqi woman walks at Al-Khazir camp

Millions Of Aid Money Swallowed By Fugitive Akoub

While the world is fighting wars, the needed aid isn’t reaching the common man, affected by religious war. One such case has come to light yet again in Baghdad, where, media reports confirm that the ex-governor has embezzled aid money closed to $10million.

This money was meant as an aid for the displaced in northern Iraq’s Nineveh province, where the recently overthrown Daesh group was based. The ex-governor Nawfel Akoub is apparently a fugitive as informed by the country’s anti-corruption commission. The embezzlement comes to light as invoices from developers in Iraqi Kurdistan were uncovered.

Akoub has been on the run since a ferry sank in Mosul on Mother’s Day in March 2019, killing 150 people.

A spokesperson for the Integrity Commission further added while speaking to AFP that “no receipt was found” of amounts that were debited and to be sent to the provincial authorities’ bank accounts or in the Provincial Council funds.

This money was also meant for the rehabilitation of two hospitals in the northern metropolis of Mosul, capital of Nineveh. A total of 11.3 billion Iraqi dinars ($9.4 million) had been allocated to the Provincial Council by the Ministry of Migration and Displaced, according to the commission. “It was transferred to Kurdistan,” an autonomous region where the sacked governor of Nineveh, Nawfel Akoub, is thought to be in hiding, along with several other officials wanted by Baghdad.

Now, the aid money is nowhere to be found. Many of the province’s inhabitants are still displaced as public services have not been fully reestablished. Currently, 1.6 million Iraqis are still crowded into camps for which this aid was meant. They continue to be displaced. Of them, 40 percent are originally from Nineveh.

In April, the commission said that more than $60 million of public funds were diverted by officials close to Akoub from Nineveh’s budget of $800 million. Since 2004 when Saddam Hussein rule was wiped off, sadly, almost $250 billion of public funds have vanished into the pockets of shady politicians and businessmen, according to parliament and not reached the deserving. There seems to be no mechanism in place to check the sheer negligence and blatant theft.

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