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Health fund pledges 'zero tolerance' on corruption

AFP/The Local · 25 Jan 2011, 08:05

Published: 25 Jan 2011 08:05 GMT+01:00

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"The global fund has zero tolerance for corruption and actively seeks to uncover any evidence of misuse of its funds," said Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund, underlining its "most rigorous" anti-fraud controls.

Kazatchkine said the cases of corruption reported in the media over the weekend were not new and had already been revealed by the organisation last year on its website and acted on.

They involved "grave misuse" of about $34 million for projects in Djibouti, Mali, Mauritania and Zambia that had gone missing in the four African countries, he explained. Kazatchkine said his organisation had recovered $19 million so far.

The fund revealed last June that it had suspended aid to Zambia awaiting action by local authorities on fraud. Kazatchkine said on Monday that criminal proceedings were under way there as well as in Mali and Mauritania, but he did not mention Djibouti.

A Swedish newspaper reported on Saturday that Sweden had told Kazatchkine that it would not commit to its €167 million ($226 million) contribution to the fund unless more was done to ensure that cash is not siphoned off.

"Sweden did not say that it would withdraw. On the contrary, I came back Friday evening from Stockholm with the statement that Sweden would contribute and would increase its constributions to the Fund," Kazatchkine told journalists.

"Sweden is the example of a country to which we have supplied explanations that appeared to be satisfactory," he added.

Story continues below…

The UN-backed agency provides grants for selected projects against the three diseases in poor nations, allocating money provided by governments and private donors such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

It is the largest single source of funding to tackle HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, three of the world's biggest killer diseases, in developing nations.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:17 January 25, 2011 by Takai
Ladies and gentlemen,

We have seen more than a couple of times that Sweden will not use the money on this, or that has refused to invest on that. Well, every country is free to decide what to do with their citizen´s tax money.


I am not very worried about what is NOT done with the money, I am more interested - dare to say, curious - to know WHERE and HOW the money will be used instead. That is because the taxes are not decreasing, we are all still paying a lot for it, and if they do decide not to invest on something, they should use it to improve the country in other matters - e.g. health care.

No trolls. Share opinion, exchange information and learning with each others instead of wasting time with prejudices and disrespect.

Thank you all.
21:00 January 25, 2011 by Nemesis
Most likely it will go to a back pocket.

The people in charge of spending this money are all swedish. Take a look at there nice large homes. That should tell you part of the story.
02:20 January 26, 2011 by GLO
Do not give money to anyone...Give to NGO's or dont give.

Better yet, Give to military to perform aid. NO WASTE....
15:27 January 26, 2011 by Global Fund
In reference to your article, The Global Fund would like to make the following statement:

How the Global Fund protects its grant money

Two articles published by the Associated Press in recent days and picked up by a large number of media outlets have seriously misrepresented the extent of fraud discovered in grants financed by the Global Fund.

Media reports alleging that "billions of dollars have been misappropriated from the Global Fund" or that the extent of fraud uncovered is "massive" are irresponsible, false and misleading.

To date, the Global Fund's Office of the Inspector General has undertaken audits or investigations in 33 of the 145 countries where the Global Fund has grants. As a result of this, the total amount of misappropriated or unsubstantiated funds that the Global Fund is demanding to be returned at present is $34 million. While all fraud is unacceptable and the Global Fund is taking strong and firm action to recover such losses, one should keep in mind that this amount represents 0.3 per cent of the total amount of $13 billion disbursed to countries by the Global Fund so far.

In short, the vast majority of Global Fund resources are delivering tremendous progress in the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria and saving millions of lives through the hard work of thousands of hard-working, honest health workers around the world.

Some media reports have also stated that the controls in place to monitor flows of Global Fund financing to countries are non-existent or inadequate. These reports are false and misleading.

Global Fund grants are subject to a rigorous system of financial controls. All grant spending is verified by an independent agency which is required to report at least annually (and in many cases quarterly) on grant progress. All grant progress reports are posted online.

In addition to these controls, the Global Fund's Office of the Inspector General provides an additional independent layer of oversight and scrutiny to uncover wrong-doing.

The Global Fund is committed to the highest standards of transparency and accountability and has acted upon each instance of misuse of its resources by taking strong and swift action, by suspending grants, freezing cash disbursements and by demanding a return of misused funds.

In addition, its Board of Directors has put in place a long-term plan to ensure that the Global Fund remains fully capable of detecting and preventing fraud and corruption.

Communications Team -

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
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