BERLIN - In many ways, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has turned the world upside down.
Besides the devastating human toll around the world, we have also been living through an increasingly disturbing reality that is marked with rising authoritarianism, reduced civic space and misuse of relief funds.
The ongoing pandemic has also exposed vulnerabilities in public contracting systems around the world and shown how unprepared governments are to buy safely during emergencies.
The burgeoning corruption that is related to Covid-19 spending requires international solutions.
With its global reach and economic might, the G20 (a group of the world’s 20 biggest economies) is one of the few international forums with the potential to shape and implement policy to fight this crisis.
While the G20 has made a commitment of US$21 billion (K73 billion) to fight Covid-19 in June, it has been silent on how it will ensure the funds reach those who need them the most.
Last week the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group met for the first time in seven months.
At the beginning of the week, Transparency International asked if the G20 had done enough to deliver, in it own words, “a transparent, robust, coordinated, large-scale and science-based global response.”
Despite last week’s G20 meeting Transparency International hasn’t yet received any clear answers.
So was the meeting another talk show or did the leaders come up with meaningful solutions to protect lives and livelihoods?
There’s no question about the potential of the forum, which is immense.
The question is whether the G20 will step up and meet its potential to deliver a concrete and transparent global response with comprehensive safeguards against corruption.
Transparency International is calling on the G20 to ensure that dedicated Covid-19 funding includes specific budget lines for anti-corruption, transparency and accountability measures, and to implement previous anti-corruption commitments.
The G20 should act quickly and decisively to ensure that the relief funds reach their intended beneficiaries and don’t fall into the hands of the criminal and the corrupt.