June 15, 2010

Global fund suspends funding

The Global Fund has suspended funding to Zambia's Ministry of Health because of fraud in the ministry. This is a second time that donors are freezing funding to the ministry in about one year. The Swedish and Dutch governments in May 2009 froze aid to the Ministry of Health following reports about embezzlement of public funds including monies from donors.

According to a report issued by The Global Fund's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) after the 21st board meeting in Geneva held between April 28 and 30, 2010, the fund would not proceed with signing any new grants to the ministry until it was satisfied that the situation was under control. "The (Zambian) national authorities have failed thus far to provide assurances of appropriate action regarding fraud against Global Fund grant programs.

In October 2009, during the audit of all grants within Zambia, the OIG audit team uncovered further evidence of fraud and other irregularities within the Global Fund grant programmes in the MoH, in particular multiple apparently fraudulent allowance claims by senior members of the MoH staff," it stated, adding that an OIG investigation team was deployed to Zambia and in November 2009. (Daily Nation)

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