Press Release by The Global Fund :
GLOBAL FUND CONFIRMS FREEZE ON CASH DISBURSEMENTS TO ZAMBIA’S MINISTRY OF HEALTH, GRANTS TO BE TRANSFERRED TO UNDP
Geneva, 16 June 2010 – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria confirmed today that it has not disbursed money for grants to Zambia’s Ministry of Health since August last year. It made the decision to halt disbursements in August 2009 after it found evidence of expenditures that could not be accounted for.
However, around US$17 million of a total of US$137 million in affected funds originally meant for the Ministry of Health has been disbursed through other channels to ensure that there is no disruption of lifesaving services.
An additional US$180 million in Global Fund grants implemented by civil society organizations in Zambia are unaffected by this freeze.The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) will take over the management of the grants originally provided to the Ministry of Health. Full grant activities are expected to resume within the next two months.
The freeze in disbursement came after Zambian authorities last year uncovered fraud within its own Ministry of Health. Further investigations by the Global Fund showed that the Ministry of Health was not able to safely manage grants. The organization has demanded the return of US$8 million in unspent funds from the Ministry of Health. The Global Fund has also demanded that Zambia takes action against individuals found to be involved in the unaccounted expenditures that led to the freezing of grant disbursements.
The Global Fund has decided to clarify its actions as recent media reports have caused confusion about the state of its funding to Zambia.
The organization stresses that the overall efforts by the Zambian public sector in providing services and rolling out prevention and treatment for AIDS, TB and malaria are impressive, and that the Global Fund remains confident that the country will continue its progress in the fight against the three diseases.
The Global Fund is a unique global public-private partnership dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. This partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities represents a new approach to international health financing. The Global Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organizations to supplement existing efforts dealing with the three diseases.
Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has become the dominant financier of programs to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, with approved funding of US$ 19.3 billion in 144 countries.
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