Dominica has been placed on a blacklist of 17 countries judged by France to be uncooperative in investigating foreign aid fraud.
French officials said on Monday that Dominican banks and those from other countries on the list will be banned from distributing development funds from France, according to a report in Agence France Press (AFP).
They say the move is justified because there is a lack of transparency in Dominica and the other nations on the list. They also pointed out that poor and developing nations are the main victims of fraud.
The blacklist expands on an already-established register of eight “non-cooperative states and territories” that already includes Botswana, Brunei, Nauru, Guatemala and the Philippines.
Switzerland, Lebanon, Panama, Costa Rica, the United Arab Emirates, Dominica, Liberia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vanuatu were added to the list on Monday.
French officials say they hope pressure will be placed on the countries on the list to be more transparent. “The aim is primarily preventative, to put pressure on these countries by publicising this list to progress towards more transparency,” they said.
Aides to development minister, Pascal Canfin, did not say how much French foreign aid currently transits via banks in Dominica or any of the countries featured on the new blacklist.