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Global Fund Against AIDS vows to crack down on corruption

The Global Fund Against AIDS, TB and Malaria said Friday it will beef up its financial safeguards after Germany suspended donations amid revelations that 34 million dollars had gone missing from the fund.


AFP - The Global Fund Against AIDS, TB and Malaria said Friday it was reinforcing its financial safeguards after donor Germany suspended payments following allegations of corruption.

In December the fund said that its auditors had found that a total of 34 million dollars had gone missing or been taken in four African countries before it reached the community aid programmes that needed the funding.

The fund said in a statement that it was taking "a number of measures to reinforce its financial safeguards and increase its capacity to prevent and detect fraud and misuse in its grants."

They include greater monitoring of expenditure in destination countries and strengthened financial controls there, and more staff for financial control.

Nonetheless, 10 days ago, the fund's executive director Michel Kazatchkine, had underlined its "most rigorous" anti fraud controls and vowed zero tolerance.

"That is why we need to have the strongest possible financial safeguards and fraud prevention measures in place and are responding aggressively when instances of fraud or misappropriation are detected," he added on Friday.

The Global Fund is the world's biggest single source of funding to tackle three of the world's greatest killer diseases, with an overall budget of 21.7 billion dollars drawn from 150 countries and private donors.

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