The credibility of Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has taken a hit in the past month due to allegations of massive corruption. But the fund’s record of making tangible impacts in combating the three diseases may just help it restore its integrity, as well as funding inflow, the Economist says.
Germany, Sweden and other donors have said they would freeze contributions to the fund pending an independent probe into allegations that as much as two-thirds of Global Fund grants are siphoned off.
>> Germany Suspends Global Fund Contributions
“The Global Fund sits on a big pile of credibility after more than meeting expectations in previous years. Sceptics may quibble with its claim to have saved at least 7m lives, and exactly how many more millions of lives it has improved, but mortality rates in the diseases it targets have dropped sharply,” according to the Economist.
The fund’s new financial safeguards “will reassure the critics and start the money flowing again,” the Economist says.
The new measures include expanding the mandate of firms monitoring expenditure in grant recipient countries, strengthening the oversight role of country coordinating bodies and implementing additional scrutiny on training activities and others that are at higher risk of fraud.
>> Global Fund Beefs Up Financial Safeguards
The Economist notes: “Until the latest storm broke, the aid world was abuzz with talk about expanding the fund’s remit to include maternal and child health. It would be odd if that plan stalls as a result of the corruption worries and if the money went instead to other international agencies. These tend to be less efficient and more prone to fraud. Though they may also be less likely to claim corruption as a sign of probity.”
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