Autor: ---- Fuente: C-FAM (Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute)

According to its own audit report for 2002, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) continues to exhibit long-standing management deficiencies. The report, written by UNFPA and released at last week's UNFPA Executive Board meeting in New York City, highlights a large number of serious lapses in both financial matters and program oversight.

The UNFPA audit team investigated 41 UNFPA country offices, and in almost every category of financial management, more than half of the offices were found to be deficient. With regard to general financial controls, 27 out of 41 country offices were either "partially satisfactory" or "deficient." 24 out of 41 country offices did not fully comply with budgeting regulations. In 20 out of 41 country offices, funds for projects had not been spent appropriately.

Of 61 office audits received by the UNFPA audit team, only five were complete. According to the audit document, 58 of 61 country offices did not seek "solutions" to "adverse findings" in their own financial reports.

The audit suggests that there is no reliable way to assess the activities of UNFPA, the national programs that it funds, or the programs of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). In fact, in 19 out of 41 country offices, programs were initiated without prior agreements from governments or NGOs concerning UNFPA regulations. Since UNFPA works with NGOs that perform and advocate for abortion, there thus appears to be no way to ensure that UNFPA is not funding abortions through its programs.

Last year, UNFPA shipped ten million faulty condoms to Tanzania, and it seems that quality control problems remain unresolved. According to the audit document, "Controls over inventory were generally found to be inadequate." In fact, 40 out of 41 country offices did not manage their inventory of goods satisfactorily.

The audit also established that 19 out of 41 country offices did not properly monitor programs, thereby bringing into question UNFPA claims of program effectiveness. The audit concluded, "The availability, accessibility and reliability of data were problematic in all countries to varying degrees, limiting the extent and quality of analysis."

The audit suggests that, where there is reliable data, it does not support UNFPA's assertions of success. For instance, "The condition of the facilities was also an obstacle to providing quality services. In Central Asia, the majority of medical facilities did not have adequate
gynaecological equipment, electricity or running water, and required major repairs and refurbishing." The audit also concluded that the ".prevention and management of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS, were the weakest of the three main reproductive health components in many countries, although STIs were rising and fast becoming one of the main public health problems."

When the audit was released to the Executive Board, even the delegate from pro-UNFPA Norway acknowledged that "deficiencies abound" at the population control agency.
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