Statement on Iraq

January 23, 2024

Attributable to ‘a UNDP Spokesperson’


In response to a recent Guardian UK article regarding the UNDP Iraq Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) would like to state the following:

We take any allegations very seriously and are urgently looking into them. We will take appropriate and firm action should any of these allegations be substantiated.

UNDP has zero tolerance for fraud and corruption, and this applies to all UNDP staff members, non-staff personnel, vendors, implementing partners and responsible parties.

But zero tolerance does not mean zero risk. UNDP has been transparent with our donors, partners and the public about the operational risks and challenges following years of conflict in Iraq.

Any allegation of bribery, corruption, or fraud is thoroughly assessed and, where appropriate, investigated by UNDP’s independent Office of Audit and Investigation (OAI). 

In cases where an OAI investigation substantiates evidence supporting allegations of misconduct, UNDP has a rigorous disciplinary process that enables it to take appropriate actions against perpetrators of fraud and corruption.

In the case of FFS, given the complexity and scale of the programme, and in line with best practices, UNDP implemented a series of additional monitoring measures beyond the standard protocols which include among others:

  • In 2015, a specialized Operations Service Center was established for the FFS to manage complex procurement and operational cases, including providing due diligence and oversight. 
  • Since 2015, a dedicated M&E team has monitored impact and results of the FFS, undertaken physical verification of projects on the ground, and provided support to third-party monitoring missions, among other tasks.
  • A dedicated OAI investigator is in place, attached to this project who thoroughly investigates all FFS allegations.
  • Project audits have taken place every year for the period 2019-2022, covering more than US$1bn of expenditure on the FFS.
  • OAI has also audited the operations of the Country Office as a whole in 2023.

All OAI’s audits are publicly available on their website.

We are determined to take action on cases of wrongdoing. Over the last 8 years, OAI has processed more than 130 cases related to the FFS, brought to the attention of OAI by our own staff members and third parties, with prompt action taken by UNDP management in response. 

UNDP welcomes scrutiny of our projects and programmes – as a public institution we are and should be held to account by our partners, by the public, and by the media.

In our work in Iraq and with the FFS, we have in place a rigorous set of measures to manage the risks inherent in working in such a challenging environment. We continue to strengthen these measures in close collaboration with our Independent Evaluation and Audit Offices.

We stand by our strong commitment to support the lives of millions of people in Iraq whilst maintaining the trust of everyone with whom we work.

What the FFS has achieved:

In 2015, at the request of the Government of Iraq and with the support of the international donor community, UNDP Iraq established the FFS to carry out a fast-tracked and accelerated program of reconstruction activities that have benefitted millions of Iraqi citizens to date.

The programme has enabled the return of almost five million out of six million Internally Displaced Persons, who might otherwise have remained stranded in IDP camps for years. Through the completion of more than 3,600 projects, Iraqi communities that host around 8.3 million people, now have access to restored basic services including schools, hospitals, water and electricity networks, housing and roads.

More information on reporting wrongdoing can be found at: