More than 150,000 people in Chad have been helped with lifesaving UK aid, including emergency food supplies, funded by £4.4 million recovered in a corruption case by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
The money was recovered from a series of corrupt transactions involving personnel and companies connected to staff at the Chadian Embassy in Washington, United States, and was the first time the UK has agreed to channel money from a civil corruption case into critical global aid projects.
The funding has gone to support vulnerable people in Chad - which has one of the highest levels of hunger in the world - with food rations, cash assistance and medical support.
UK Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford said:
We have ensured money recovered from corrupt deals has gone into providing life-saving support to more than 150,000 vulnerable people in Chad.
Working with our partners around the world, the UK will always stand against corruption."
The funds have also been used to support Chad's COVID-19 response and to provide vital humanitarian assistance to over 150,000 people, including malnourished children, through partners on the ground such as WFP, ICRC and UNICEF.
In addition, UK aid through CARE International, provided cash assistance to 1,600 households, allowing them to buy vital supplies like food and shelter materials, and improved access to safe water for 10,500 people.
During the pandemic, the funds went towards the deployment of a UK Emergency Medical Team (UK EMT) of seven medical experts to two hospitals in N'Djamena, Chad's capital city.
While there, they supported the care of critical patients from COVID-19 and helped to train local medical staff on how to treat people with the virus, as well as high quality sanitation and hygiene practices to reduce its spread.
On top of this, further support to local NGOs reached over 1 million people to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including the distribution of vital protective clothing and medical kits provided to more than 10,000 people.
When the £4.4 million profits from the illegal share deals entered the UK's jurisdiction, the SFO began civil recovery proceedings and the resulting funds have now been diverted to aid projects since 2018 to help the most vulnerable people in Chad.
UK Serious Fraud Office said:
We are both proud and delighted that illicit funds recovered by the Serious Fraud Office have now been redistributed to the people of Chad.
The money we seized has rightly been spent on much-needed humanitarian aid projects, rather than lining the pockets of corrupt officials.
Our dedicated staff are experts in their field, working tirelessly to recoup the ill-gotten gains of criminals and deliver justice for victims - wherever they may be."
- The trial - Saleh v Director of the SFO - followed a number of previous appeals against the Property Freezing Order which can be found here.
- More information about the SFO case against Chad Oil is available here.
- The £4.4m funding is broken down as follows:
- ICRC received £0.2m for emergency assistance, including protection activities
- UNICEF received £1.8m for nutrition support
- WFP received £1.3m for food assistance
- To tackle Covid-19 - £350,000 was used to fund the deployment of a UK Emergency Medical Team and £755,176 went to the UK aid Tackling Deadly Diseases in Africa program in Chad.