Netherlands Wants Benin to Prevent Fraud Before Resuming Aid

The Dutch government has asked Benin to submit proposals to prevent embezzlement of donor funds before it decides whether to resume aid to the West African country.

Lilianne Ploumen, the minister for Foreign Trade and Development, “will decide on the future relations in the area of cooperation” between the two countries after studying the proposals, according to a statement signed July 25 from the Dutch ambassador to Benin, Jos van Aggelen.

The Dutch government cut all development aid to Benin in May after uncovering what it said was a serious fraud case in which grants worth at least 4 million euros disappeared. The money was meant for drinking-water projects.

Benin will start legal action against those involved in the case, the government said in a website statement on Thursday following a special cabinet meeting. An 800-page probe by an international auditor has revealed “serious malfunctions of the administration” of the country as well as “serious and repeated violations of the rules of public expenditures,” the statement said.

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