Tuesday, June 7, 2011

UNDP SCANDAL: Global Fund to Fight AIDS - Olivier Chastel: “Belgium awaits the results of the audits”

After suspicion of misuse of funds in certain countries, the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria decided in early 2011 to have the situation investigated by a group of international experts. The group’s report, which was expected in May, will most likely only be available in September.

In addition, the European Commission has not only rescinded its financial support to the Fund, but has also started investigations in various countries. The results of these will be communicated to the group of experts appointed by the Fund.

“If the results of the investigations by the European Commission are positive, then Belgium is prepared to deposit its €21 million contribution for 2011,” stated Minister for Development Cooperation, Olivier Chastel.

Belgium has made substantial contributions to the Global Fund: €12 million in 2008, €16 million in 2009, and €21 million in 2010, which was deposited during the fourth quarter. An amount of €21 million has been planned for 2011. However, Belgium remains active in the fight against AIDS, and Prime Minister Yves Leterme will take part in the 2011 High Level Meeting on HIV-AIDS in New York on 8 June.

“We must get sufficient guarantees that the money allocated to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is being used correctly. This is a matter of good management,” says Olivier Chastel. “The Global Fund is a legitimate institution and I am therefore happy with the decision made in February regarding the establishment of measures to strengthen financial protection and the opportunities to combat fraud.”

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