Global Fund runs out of grant money

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria recently announced that it has run out of grant money to pay for new programs for the next two years, a situation likely to bring hardship to poor patients around the world.

The weakening economic situation around the world has hit the Global Fund while it is embroiled in a storm of criticism and doubts among its largest donors, according to the Associated Press.

In September, an independent panel recommended that the fund adopt stricter financial safeguards to stop incidents of mismanagement and alleged fraud.

The European Commission, Denmark and Germany withheld millions of dollars in funding pending a review of the funds internal controls. Germany, the fund’s fourth largest donor, has since restored its support.

The fund said that it cannot give new grants until 2014 because of the woes brought by the debt crisis and the economic climates in Europe and the United States, the AP reports. The fund’s current AIDS programs will continue, but it will not expand its services or add new patients.

"It is deeply worrisome that inadvertently the millions of people fighting with deadly diseases are in danger of paying the price for the global financial crisis.” Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, the fund's executive director, said, the AP reports.