Lead Inspector General for Overseas Contingency Operations said in a report to US Congress that the State Department probe exposed abuses in the handling of humanitarian aid between Turkish vendors and procurement staff from NGOs.

A US State Department probe exposed abuses in the handling of humanitarian aid between Turkish vendors and procurement staff from four non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in southeastern Turkey, Lead Inspector General for Overseas Contingency Operations said in a report to US Congress.
“An investigation into bid rigging, collusion, bribery, and kickbacks between Turkish vendors and procurement staff from four NGOs in southeastern Turkey [was conducted],” the report, which covers the period from April to June 2016, stated on Thursday.

The probe exposed Turkish vendors working with NGO contractors to divert cross-border humanitarian assistance to Syria’s internally displaced population, the Inspector General added.

“Program suspensions, debarment or suspension of vendors and individuals, and employee terminations had a great impact on the Syria assistance program,” the Inspector General said. “[These resulted] in partial program suspensions associated with awards valued at over $305 million.”

Some 6.5 million people, including 2.8 million children, are internally displaced in Syria, according to a report published by the United Nations Refugee Agency. Syria is home to the largest displaced population in the world.

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