The Global Fund is grappling with how to safeguard the programs it funds against sexual abuse.
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Last month the Global Fund released a report detailing its investigation of sexual abuse allegations involving a sub-sub grantee organization in Ghana. Executives at the Ghana Network Association of People Living with HIV were accused of demanding sex acts and money in exchange for access to services.
• While the details are particularly abhorrent, the case raises a familiar challenge for the Geneva-based partnership: how to balance a country-owned, low-footprint organizational structure with sufficient oversight of grantees. The fund faced similar challenges around preventing financial fraud shortly after its creation.
• Rumbi Chakamba speaks to Nick Jackson, the Global Fund’s ethics officer, about how the organization plans to respond. In addition to updating its codes of conduct to explicitly prohibit sexual abuse and exploitation, Jackson says the fund is now working to connect its country coordinating mechanisms with sexual abuse protection networks in the countries where it operates.
• “We have to be using our voice and influence in a way that first of all places the survivors and victims front and center of any response. But also places accountability in the country in the frontline and enables and requires those organizations delivering programs to step up and deal with these things,” he says.
SPRING IN THE AIR
The World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings are in full swing.
• U.S. climate envoy John Kerry revealed Wednesday that he and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had discussed the U.S. bringing some “concessionary finance” to the table to reduce risk, and then promote commercial investment for alternative sources of fuel to help countries transition away from coal.
• IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said her organization’s current “preoccupation” is with climate adaptation strategies, and she warned against allowing climate change to become another force for “divergence” between higher and lower-income countries.
• Vera Songwe of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa is calling for a system that would allow high-income countries to transfer billions in IMF reserve assets to lower-income countries, Sara Jerving reports.
Online event: Go inside the World Bank Spring Meetings on April 9.
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BEARING THE BRUNT
In sub-Saharan Africa, 41% of women-owned businesses closed over the past year, compared with 34% of those owned by men. The pandemic has taken a disproportionately high toll on women in low- and middle-income countries, according to a Center for Global Development analysis of over 400 studies conducted since the pandemic began.
“I think the most important thing is for Muslims to be able to contextualize religion into the pandemic … It's not enough for us just to use the public health guidelines. We have to look to support from the scriptures.”— Mohamed Karama, chair of the National Muslims COVID-19 Response Committee.
GET YOUR GOAT
IN THE NEWS
The U.S. announced yesterday a $235 million aid package for Palestinians, including $150 million for UNRWA. [Reuters]
The U.K. foreign office has barred Oxfam from applying for aid money following new allegations of sexual misconduct of two staff in the Democratic Republic of Congo. [The Guardian]
Taiwan accused China of using COVID-19 vaccines to lure Paraguay away from supporting the island's push for diplomatic recognition. [BBC]
U.K. mine clearance charity HALO Trust has warned it will have to end operations in Syria following aid budget cuts. [The Times]
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