Today's Top Five
1. Global Fund graft in Uganda
On our site today, we have a Religion News Service article about the criticism that James Dobson and some others have leveled against the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. (The organization Friends of the Global Fight has put together a response, but so far it's not posted on its website.) Now comes more PR trouble: The Christian Science Monitor reports:
The phrase "Global Fund" has become synonymous with graft in Uganda. A government inquiry recently revealed that tens of millions of dollars of the country's Global Fund grants have gone missing, much of it plundered by high-ranking public officials. Through months of hearings, which began in September and concluded just a few weeks ago, a disgusted Ugandan public heard how monies meant for lifesaving AIDS drugs were spent on personal phone bills, lavish "Christmas packages," and fancy four-wheel drive vehicles. Problems with Global Fund monies have surfaced recently in other countries as well.
In a large sense, this is old news: The Global Fund suspended its grants to Uganda last August after an audit revealed "evidence of serious mismanagement by the Project Management Unit in the Ministry of Health." After Uganda restructured management of the grants, the Global Fund lifted the suspensions in November.
What's new is the Ugandan government report, which the Global Fund says is evidence of improvement, not of new problems. "The openness and thoroughness with which President Yoweri Museweni addressed the Global Fund's concerns about the management of the grants it finances in Uganda has set an example for how allegations of corruption should be dealt with," executive director Richard Feachem says in a ...1
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