GAVI Alliance suspends cash handouts for several African nations

The GAVI Alliance, which focuses on supplying vaccines to low-income nations, recently announced that it has suspended cash handouts to several programs in Africa as investigates the potential misuse of funds.

The Geneva-based global health partnership will be examining its programs in Niger, Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon. Together with an ongoing investigation in Mali, GAVI will be looking at a total of $18 million, according to

While it is not unusual for aid organizations to suffer corruption, it is rarer for an organization to make such matters public for fear of losing donors. It is rarer still for an aid organization to make an investigation public before it has been concluded.

Between 2000 and 2010, GAVI delivered $2.1 billion worth of vaccines and paid $672 million to 45 countries, reports. In 32 previous audits, only one country, Uganda, has been found to have misused GAVI funds. The $838,000 in question has since been repaid from the Uganda incident.

While the cash is suspended, the affected countries will continue to receive vaccines. The cash programs typically go towards building clinics, paying salaries, training staff and improving vaccine storage, GAVI spokesman Jeffrey Rowland told

Rowland said that the Mali investigation should be finished in May. The investigations in Niger and Cameroon are expected to be finished in July. In Cote d’Ivoire, the political situation is preventing the investigation from beginning.