Global Fund halts AIDS funding for Mali

An anti-AIDS campaign billboard in Mali. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has suspended its $13.91 million HIV/AIDS grant to Mali after evidence of funding misuse was uncovered. Photo by: upyernoz / CC BY upyernozCC BY

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Wednesday (March 2) suspended its $13.91 million HIV/AIDS grant to Mali after evidence of funding misuse was uncovered.

The grant’s current principal recipient, Groupe Pivot Santé Population, will be replaced, according to the fund. Sixteen people have so far been arrested due to misuse of the grant, it added.

“The government of Mali has condemned the misuse of funds and is working with the Global Fund to solve problems and ensure that grant activities can resume as soon as possible,” the fund said in a March 2 statement.

The suspension comes amid allegations of massive corruption in the use of Global Fund grants.

>> Germany urges Global Fund anew to address corruption allegations

In December, the fund also suspended two grants for malaria programs in Mali and terminated a separate tuberculosis grant after finding evidence of unjustified expenditure and misappropriation of funds.

>> Global Fund strengthens crackdown on fraud in Mali

The canceled AIDS grant supports prevention programs, including condom distribution, voluntary counseling and testing and support for children who have been orphaned or made vulnerable by the AIDS epidemic.

The Global Fund assured that the suspension does not affect any of the 22,500 Malian patients on antiretroviral treatment. This program is financed by another grant managed by the National High Council for HIV/AIDS Control of Mali.

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    Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a staff writer, Rizza focuses mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID. She covers breaking business news particularly at the ADB and has conducted interviews with specialists from the Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank and other top players in international development. Rizza also contributes to the daily Development Newswire and other Devex publications.