FinCEN Files: Investigation into Dirty Money Transfers from Major Global Banks

At least $ 2 trillion in suspicious transactions were carried out between 2000 and 2017 by several major global banks. This is what an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, made up of 400 journalists from the media in 88 countries, including the investigation units of Radio France and the newspaper Le Monde, reveals.
For their investigation, ICIJ journalists were able to obtain "suspicious activity reports". These are top-secret documents that US bank internal compliance officials send to US financial intelligence agencies when they detect questionable money transfers.

According to these documents, 2,000 billion dollars in suspicious transactions may have been carried out. It is dirty money linked to drugs, corruption, organized crime and terrorism.

Large banks are singled out like JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Bank of New York Mellon or HSBC. They ensure, however, that they make significant efforts to combat financial crime an…

Coronavirus: IFAD creates a fund to avoid a food crisis in rural areas

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is concerned about the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on the well-being, livelihoods and food security of the rural poor. Also, the UN agency has just set up a prevention mechanism and intends to raise some 200 million dollars by May 4, 2020.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is concerned about the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on the well-being, livelihoods and food security

According to Fida, the current health crisis threatens to reverse the progress made in the world in reducing rural poverty and worsening food insecurity. To try to prevent it, this UN agency launched a fund called "Covid-19 stimulus mechanism for the rural poor". It is part of the socio-economic response provided by the United Nations system to the current health crisis.

According to the president of the Fida, Gilbert Houngbo, the rural people "could be still more plunged in poverty, hunger and despair, which would constitute a real threat for the prosperity and the world stability".

To avoid such a scenario, "it is necessary, he specifies, to take immediate measures and give rural populations the means to adapt and recover more quickly, so as to avoid a humanitarian crisis of greater magnitude" .

The direct impact of containment measures

Indeed, following the containment measures imposed by States to prevent the spread of the virus, some small farmers can no longer access markets to sell their products or buy inputs: seeds, fertilizers, fertilizers, small equipment and others. In addition, the closure of major highways and export bans are hampering the sale of products and access to cash.

Abdoul Barry, Deputy Director of Fida in West and Central Africa - Coastal Countries (which has 9 countries, from Sierra Leone to Nigeria with Niger and Burkina Faso) and representative of the agency in Côte d ' Ivoire deplores the fact that the mango sector is already well affected, which allows Côte d'Ivoire to export some 32,000 tonnes of this fruit per year to Europe and benefits at least 120,000 households.

"I have had discussions," he said, "with some exporters who had firm orders, but they cannot fulfill them because the markets are closed. As the movement of goods becomes difficult, the large exporters are closed. Importers cannot honor their commitments either. There are a lot of contracts that have been canceled and suddenly West African exporters, especially those from Côte d'Ivoire, which is the leading mango exporting country in West Africa, even in Africa, find themselves with their unsold products, because the importers no longer have the means and in addition the physical markets no longer exist. Here there is another problem also with the confinement certainly, the displacements are a little difficult. So there is all the packaging that needs to be done, transport from the inside to the port and after from the port. All this is logistics that no longer works. The mango campaign started on April 12 and is expected to last three months, but the whole circuit is no longer functioning and there are fears that we will end up with a lot of mangoes that will not be sold by boats, for example. " The same is true for several other agricultural production chains on which rural people around the world depend.

Unemployment in sight

These malfunctions on several levels, it is estimated at Fida, are causing unemployment to spike, especially among day workers, small businesses and all those involved in the formal sector, namely young people and women.

In addition to the 820 million people in the world who were not already eating enough before the pandemic could add another half a billion people. "We must act now to prevent this health crisis from becoming a food crisis," said Gilbert Houngbo at the launch of the Mechanism.