Review calls for new safeguars for the Global Fund

A review recently found that a $22 billion fund established to fight disease around the world lacks sufficient safeguards to prevent fraud and must reform if it is to remain effective.

The Geneva-based Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, backed by donors that include the Chevron Corporation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has been told that it will have substantially less than its estimate of $1.5 billion for its next round of grants, according to Bloomberg.

A review conducted by a committee led by Michael Leavitt, a former U.S. Health Secretary, found that the fund will also face an accelerating deterioration of its finances over the next three years.

The committee was established in March after it was reported that four recipient nations had misused their funding. At that time, both Germany and Sweden froze their donations.

“There’s nothing here that can’t be fixed," Leavitt said, Bloomberg reports. "The fund does not have enough capacity to respond to every need the world presents in those three disease categories and therefore it must be selective in how it invests its limited resources.

The committee said that the fund has not established effective accountability measures and that an insufficient scrutiny of budgets has left room for budget padding that is then easily exploited. The committee has recommended that the fund develop a risk management approach to financing its programs.