FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2016

Independent review of Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria launched

Former American Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt and former President of Botswana Festus Mogae will lead an independent and thorough review of the financial safeguards of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

This announcement comes on the heels of reports that nearly two-thirds of some of the grants from the $21.7 billion development fund are devastated by corruption. Much of the money is lost to corrupt improper bookkeeping or forged documents, All Africa reports.

"The appointment of this panel is part of the Global Fund commitment to ensuring our financial controls are the most robust possible, and that donor investments go directly to fighting AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis," Michel Kazatchkine, the executive director of the global fund, said, according to All Africa. “Sound financial controls and anti-corruption protections are essential elements in our continued ability to save millions of lives, and to facilitating social and economic development in the more than 140 countries we support."

Sixty-seven percent of the money spent on an anti-AIDS program in Mauritania was misspent, according to reports. A Mali program to fight tuberculosis and malaria was found to have 36 percent of its money abused. In Zambia, one accountant pocketed U$104,130, while $3.5 million worth of spending was undocumented, All Africa reports.

The independent review panel will select a small group of experts and eminent persons to join. Over the next few months, it will assess current practices in financial implementation and oversight. It will report to the Board of the Global Fund and all of its findings will be made public.