Meeting with the Secretariat of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at the BMZ
Today intensive discussions were held with the Global Fund Secretariat at the invitation of the BMZ. Given the allegations of corruption and misuse of funds that have been directed towards the Fund, the German government called on the Secretariat to clarify the situation regarding the possible extent to which funds have been misused by widening the circle of cooperation countries already being reviewed to include the remaining 112 countries receiving support from the Fund. Moreover, the German government asked the Fund to quickly take steps that would ensure that everything possible was done to prevent corruption and misuse of funds.
"We will support these efforts by the Fund by arranging for an independent external review to determine the nature and the extent of the misuse of funds based on a representative sample of countries," said German Development Minister Dirk Niebel. "This sample will focus above all on countries that are particularly affected by corruption. Also to be examined is the degree to which the implementing and financing modalities used by the Fund – which often include the direct transfer of funds to recipient countries – may favour corruption and the misuse of funds. The focus will be particularly on areas that have been shown to be especially susceptible to corruption, for example expenditures on training measures, per diem allowances, the reimbursement of travel costs or the procurement of medicines. I also want us to find ways of boosting the Fund’s results orientation."
The German government is seeking to find ways of including other concerned donors in the review, involving the Bundesrechnungshof(Federal Audit Office) and also German and European institutes specialising in development policy. It invites the Global Fund Secretariat and its Board of Directors to make suggestions regarding the concept and scope of the review.
"The German government will make a decision about its contributions to the Global Fund for 2011 based on the findings from the special review, which will be available by the summer, and on the measures that the Fund has taken by then to address the susceptibility of its activities to corruption," said Dirk Niebel. "The Fund has given an assurance that the ongoing treatment of sick people will not be compromised at any point by the enquiries."
Given the wide-reaching allegations of corruption and misuse of funds directed towards the Global Fund, German Development Minister Dirk Niebel had announced on 25 January 2011 that all German payments to the Fund were to be suspended and a special review undertaken.