WORKING WITH DG ECHO AS AN NGO PARTNER | 2021 - 2027
Aid Diversion is defined as aid taken, stolen or damaged by any governmental or local authority, armed group or any other similar actor. Such act is to be considered diverted aid even if the aid is re-distributed to other people in need other than the intended beneficiary group. Aid diversion takes place most commonly:
- During transport/distribution/storage of aid – Any third party, such as local militia, military, non-targeted population or public officials may forcefully divert aid on the road to/from a warehouse or at/to the intended location. Aid may be stolen, diverted or delayed to meet the preferences of local elites or to extort money or favours. Theft may occur during the transfer of goods from storage or during the distribution process.
- Payment for access to aid resources or beneficiaries – Government officials or local militia may block the flow of aid by demanding bribes or kickbacks from partners’  staff, suppliers, traders and transporters in return for access to the people in need, or to the aid resources that the partner needs (e.g. goods in customs warehouse).
Damage, loss and waste of aid by the partner and its implementing partners are not considered as aid diversion by DG ECHO. This can happen for several reasons, such as climate conditions, car accident, wildfire, etc. In these cases, DG ECHO may follow-up if there is suspicion of lack of diligence and sub-standard management practices on the part of the partner and/or its implementing partners.
Aid may also be lost, damaged or wasted due to reasons that would qualify as constituting force majeure, which ECHO will have to consider at final liquidation stage of the action. An assessment needs to be done to determine if there was force majeure, and whether the partner acted in due diligence or whether the facts reported reveal concerns as regards the use of appropriate management procedures and practices. More guidance on the criteria for the establishment of force majeure and on how to interpret these sample questions is available on the partners' helpdesk. See: https://www.dgecho-partners-helpdesk.eu/ngo/changes/temporary-interruption-or-reduction-of-activities/force-majeur
AID DIVERSION IS DIFFERENT TO FRAUD
For more information, please, see web page on fraud and irregularities:
AID DIVERSION PREVENTION
The establishing of measures since the very beginning can help to prevent and detect diversion of aid and reduce the operational, financial and reputational damages. Already at proposal stage, your organization should assess the risk of diversion of aid when deciding to submit the proposal. In case of submission, you shall, to the extent possible, identify the risks and mitigating measures. Monitoring mechanisms during the implementation of the project are of great relevance. This information shall be provided in section 7.5 (Assumptions and risks (including risk of fraudulent activities and environmental risk)) of the Single Form.
REPORTING AID DIVERSION
If your organization finds out a case of aid diversion in one of your DG ECHO’s funded projects, the case should be reported to the desk officer. The desk officer will review the information provided and may require further information / documentation to assess the situation.