COSV Financial Mismanagement Forced the Closure of Merka Hospital & COSVMerka Office.

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COSV Italian NGO has been operating in Lower Shabelle since 1993. The last three years COSV has been struggling to pay its local staff salary consistently and neglected implementation of important program activities according to Merka Hospital Staff.
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Our investigation team discovered that COSV receives funding from UNICEF, WHO, World Vision and CHF.

End of October 2013 Merka District Commissioner took over the control of Merka Hospital after COSV refused to pay salaries of local hospital staff. In addition COSV’s refusal to pay their Merka office security guard let the closure of the COSV Merka office since the beginning of

February 2014. On March 14th 2014, NSP Security daily update report confirmed that COSV International office in Merka was closed by its security guards due to lack of salary payment.

Our investigation also discovered that COSV did not pay staff salaries

of following program since:

* GF HIV last payment June 2013

* GF Malaria last payment September 2013

* GF TB last payment September 2013

* CHF Protection Mogadishu last payment May 2013

* CHF Education Mogadishu last payment September 2013

* CHF Education Merka last payment October 2013

* CHF Protection Merka payment never received

* CHF Nutrition Merka payment never received

* UNICEF Health last payment March 2013

* UNICEF Nutrition last payment March 2013

* WHO ICCM September to December 2013 not paid In addition COSV failed to pay the running cost including stationery, transportation, communication, fuel supplies and others for all ongoing projects and closed project in 2012.

All these mismanagement happened since Fabio Gigantino, COSV Regional Director, was appointed in 2011. During his time he has been assisting COSV Milano HQ to use Somali funding to cover all COSV HQ expenses and personal gain for few individuals in Milan. Projects priority shifted toward Milan saving more money from Somalia funding rather than implementing activities and pay the local staff.

Our investigator concluded that there was no reasonable way to justify these payment delays since all other local NGO’s present in Lower Shabelle such as SWISSO-KAALMO, IIDA, NEW WAYS and Ayub pay all their dues on time.

During our investigation the biggest question for residents in Mogadishu, Gedo and Lower Shabelle were asking was, why the funders were not making sure that local staff and contractors receive their compensation from COSV? Our investigation team recommend to UNICEF, WHO, World Vision and CHF (OCHA) to follow up this finding and take the proper action.

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