Global Shining Light Finalist: Iraq’s Missing $200 Million Education Fund

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In the run-up to the 2017 Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Johannesburg this November 16 to 19, we’re featuring one Global Shining Light Award finalist per day. The winners, out of 12 extraordinary investigative projects, will be announced at the conference.

An international panel of judges selected the finalists from a record 211 projects, submitted by journalists in 67 countries. The award, which honors investigative journalism in developing or transitioning countries, done under threat, duress or under dire conditions, is sponsored by the Global Investigative Journalism Network, an association of 155 nonprofit organizations in 68 countries.


Project No. 1,” Beladi TV channel, Iraq (2016), Investigation: Asaad Al-Zalzali; Photography: Thaer Khalid

When $200 million allocated for public schools in Iraq went missing, reporter Al-Zalzali followed the money, which led him to a bank and overseas. The story exposed the magnitude of corruption in the country’s Ministry of Education and led to a conviction and a settlement that returned half the stolen money.

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