Chemonics acknowledges 'challenges' with supply chain project, cites 'proactive steps'

A member of the GHSC-PSM staff builds pharmacist's capacity by conducting inventory in a local hospital's pharmacy in Angola. Photo by: GHSC-PSM 

After Devex published an article revealing problems with a critical global health supply chain project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, Chemonics International, the project implementer, responded in an online post that acknowledged “challenges” and described steps the company has taken to improve performance.

Chemonics undertook a “foundational change,” by restructuring “how the project itself functioned from a management perspective,” according to a statement on the company’s website, which was posted on Friday. The USAID implementing partner also worked to prevent stock outs by working with other donors to “bridge gaps” in the supply chain process.

Documents reveal largest USAID health project in trouble

A global health supply chain project that coordinates lifesaving deliveries has run into serious problems, putting vital treatments and health services at risk.

“There have been no delivery delays or stock-outs that resulted in or caused any patients to stop treatment. Recognizing the challenges in the new process, USAID and Chemonics took proactive steps to avoid such issues, including by working closely with other donors to bridge gaps and prevent stock-outs,” the post read.

In response to further inquiry from Devex, Chemonics wrote in an email: “We work closely with the Global Fund, UNFPA, and UNICEF to mitigate the effects of late orders on commodity security in the countries that we serve.”

As Devex reported last week, Chemonics’ most recent quarterly report to USAID revealed that only 7 percent of the Global Health Supply Chain – Procurement and Supply Management project’s shipments arrived “on time and in full.”

 USAID chief 'angry' about agency's largest health project

In response to Devex’s report, USAID Administrator Mark Green said the agency is watching its troubled program "like a hawk."

The post — “Chemonics Responds to Devex Article” — quotes Chemonics CEO Susi Mudge, who said, “Immediately upon recognizing the project was facing challenges, we owned our responsibility. Addressing these challenges is one of our top priorities. We believe we have made the necessary changes to ensure progress is made.”

Devex spoke to USAID Administrator Mark Green, who said that he was “angry” about the project’s poor performance, and that the issue has strengthened his resolve to tackle problems with USAID procurement during his tenure.

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About the author

  • Michael Igoe

    Michael Igoe is a Senior Reporter with Devex, based in Washington, D.C. He covers U.S. foreign aid, global health, climate change, and development finance. Prior to joining Devex, Michael researched water management and climate change adaptation in post-Soviet Central Asia, where he also wrote for EurasiaNet. Michael earned his bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College, where he majored in Russian, and his master’s degree from the University of Montana, where he studied international conservation and development.