If the world is to meet its ambitious targets on health and child survival and the broader objectives of the soon to be determined Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), illicit financial flows (IFFs) must be urgently addressed says a recent report published by Save the Children.
It is calling on the international community to act quickly and decisively to curb IFFs and making recommendations as to how the issue can be tackled at national and international levels.
Making a killing
In the report, Making a Killing, the children’s charity is underlining the need for international action by explaining how the amounts lost in IFFs, if captured, would massively improve healthcare standards in less developed countries.
The report says that in sub-Saharan Africa, the annual amount being lost is estimated to be $15 billion, equivalent to the cost of 1.8 million health-workers.
The country studies in the report assess the human cost of these lost tax revenues. In Kenya, $435 million of tax lost annually could be used to end the shortage of 86,000 health workers identified in the country’s national health plan and bring child mortality down, resulting in more than 50,000 lives saved each year
In Mozambique, $187 million of potential tax lost annually is equivalent to 10% of government revenue. This money could fill the financial gap in its national health plan, enabling major improvements to maternal and newborn health services that could save the lives of more than 30,000 children and 2,000 mothers each year.
The authors recognise that national governments cannot address the complex problem of illicit financial flows on their own and are calling for international coordination is required to address the failings of the global tax system which encourage these schemes to proliferate.
So Save the Children is calling on all countries to take bold measures to address IFFs in international meetings, including the UN General Assembly meeting in September at which the SDGs will be determined and the G20 meeting in November.
The full Making a Killing report can be found here.
Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News