Friday, February 18, 2011

The Unwinding of the Fund's Massive $34 Million Fraud

by Gary Snyder

The past month has been horrid for the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Now it is getting worse. One story claimed that up to two-thirds of some grants went astray, with “astonishing” corruption in some cases. It cited faked invoices, phony training events and other abuses, chiefly involving health ministries in some African countries. That was nothing new with evidence of the misuse of $34 million paid out in Mali, Mauritania, Djibouti and Zambia . Germany, Spain, Sweden and the European Union said they would freeze payments into the Global Fund pending their own inquiries. But few stories have shared the good side of the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria efforts. It claims to have saved at least 7 million lives, and many more millions of lives have been improved, and mortality rates in the diseases it targets have dropped sharply. The fund’s approach to allocating aid wins plaudits too: it makes countries compete for money based less on their needs than on their ability to get things done. Undoubtedly the plan will stall as a result of the corruption worries, but all are trying to right the ship.
Post a Comment