How the United States Can Help the Democratic Republic of the Congo Combat Illicit Financial Flows (IFFS)
Timmerman, Suzanne M.
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Illicit financial flows (IFFs) are a global issue that is estimated to take from the world $2 trillion in revenue. The African continent is particularly susceptible, as over $836 billion of IFFs comes from sub-Saharan Africa. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is particularly vulnerable due to its low regulation and high corruption, as well as the DRC’s cash economy that mostly deals in US dollars. DRC has also had several recent high-profile cases of individuals who have been able to circumvent United States (U.S.) sanctions in the DRC, such as North Korean Pak Hwa Song and Hwang Kil Su, and Dan Gertler. The proposal outlined is for the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of the Treasury to work with the DRC to help with their IFFs problem in four key steps. The four steps are: implement further sanctions, strengthen previously enacted sanctions in the DRC, increase DRC anti-corruption agreements on foreign aid and International Monetary Fund loans, and implement an Office of Trade Assistance program to increase the DRC’s Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Framework. Now is a unique time in which the U.S.-DRC partnership is strong, and President Félix Tshisekedi has consolidated power away from his predecessor Laurent Kabila so increased regulation and reform in the DRC is possible. Ultimately, the recommendation is to enact this policy as it falls in line with U.S. policy goals and can be implemented through existing U.S. programs.