Aid Groups Accuse Donors of Backing Down on Global Fund Pledges

Activists stage a protest during the opening ceremony of the XVIII International AIDS Conference in 2010. Photo by: Steve Forrest / Workers' Photos / ©IAS

A coalition of aid agencies and civil society organizations has accused rich countries of using the current financial crisis to renege on their funding commitments to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which announced last week it would no longer support any new programs until 2014 due to budget constraints.

“This is not an issue of funding. It comes down to broken promises,” Agence France-Presse quotes Daygan Eager of the Budget Expenditure Monitoring Forum, a South Africa-based group of civil society organizations monitoring the country’s AIDS spending.

The Global Fund announced Nov. 23 it was cancelling its latest financing round and would instead launch a transitional funding mechanism to support ongoing projects until 2014, when the organization is set to hold a new replenishment conference. 

The announcement has prompted warnings from international health groups about its impact on global efforts to fight AIDS. Health groups also urged donors to follow through with their pledges and to make sure the Global Fund has enough resources for the transitional financing mechanism it launched.

At least one aid group, meanwhile, has called for the resignation of Global Fund Executive Director Michel Kazatchkine, citing lack of confidence in the organization’s current leadership.

The Global Fund board has announced it would hire a new manager to work alongside the executive director in overseeing the organization.

“The fact that the Global Fund board feels the need to bring on additional management confirms that current leadership is not up to the task,” said AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein. “We call on the Board’s executive director, Michel Kazatchkine, to openly step down so that confidence can be restored, and needed reforms may begin in earnest. Kazatchkine must also stop negotiating with the Board to obtain an extension or a different role in the organization.”

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.