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U.S Gov’t Frowns Over “Misuse” of Taxpayers Funds To Liberia’s Health Ministry

The United States Mission to Liberia has expresses serious concerns about the reported misuse of funds provided by the United States Government to support health care for the people of Margibi County.

In a dispatched from the U.S government, it have a special responsibility to ensure that money provided by its country’s taxpayers for the benefit of the people of Liberia, including the people of Margibi, is used for its intended purpose.

Recently, it was reported that the Margibi County Health Officer, Dr. Augustine Nyankun and other senior staff of the County Health Team, in an audio recording obtained were discussing their involvement in financial corruption surrounding fraudulent billings and collection of kickbacks from vendors.

The leaked audio embroiling the Margibi County Health Team administrators in financial impropriety surfaced at the time the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Ministry of Health (MOH) Fixed Amount Reimbursement Agreement (FARA) Program is providing annual financial support of US$801,693.00 to the Margibi Health System.

The FARA program supports the cost of implementing components of the Essential Package of Health Services that support family planning, maternal and child health, and malaria prevention and treatment at 24 health Facilities across Margibi.

But in reaction to the allegation, Health Minister, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah announced the recall of all members of the Margibi Health Team who were implicated in the leaked audio.

According to Dr. Jallah, those implicated have been turned over the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) for further investigation and possible prosecution thus describing the alleged actions of these staff amounts to corruption.

She added that an acting health team has been put in place in the county to continue the delivery of health services and at the same time assured partners that the alleged corruption would be investigated and the outcome of the investigation would inform the Ministry’s next action.

The U.S government then commends the investigative journalism that brought the story to light and as well as the swift action by the Ministry of Health to make immediate changes while investigating the matter.

The statement added that the USAID Mission to Liberia will decide whether to retain Margibi as part of USAID’s government-to-government agreement pending a transparent investigation and associated actions to hold accountable anyone involved in the misuse of any U.S. government funds.

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