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08 December 2015
GENEVA - On International Anti-Corruption day, 9 December, the Global Fund's Office of the Inspector General is launching a campaign to raise awareness about fraud and abuse. Called 'I Speak Out Now!', the campaign is designed to encourage people to denounce any wrongdoing that prevents the medicines, health products and services from reaching those who need them.
By the end of 2015, the Office of the Inspector General, the Global Fund's independent assurance structure, estimates it will have received around 200 allegations of fraud and abuse. This represents an increase of 30 percent compared to last year, largely attributable to better visibility of its whistle-blowing channels. On average, over a third of allegations become investigations, which result in recommendations to recover misspent funds and actions to strengthen the Global Fund's impact in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
The objective of the campaign is to improve the quality and timeliness of allegations that the Office of the Inspector General receives so that the Global Fund can intervene earlier to prevent small scale irregularities from becoming systemic cases of wrongdoing. Targeted audiences include Global Fund staff and grant implementers. Anti-fraud and corruption materials will also be piloted in three countries representative of the Global Fund portfolio: Ukraine, Côte d'Ivoire and Malawi. The Office of the Inspector General plans to extend the campaign to other countries in 2016.
"The Global Fund has zero tolerance to wrongdoing and is committed to ensuring that its investments are used in the most responsible and effective way," said Mouhamadou Diagne, Inspector General. "There is a human cost behind fraud and corruption. When people engage in wrongdoing, a child is potentially going to die of malaria, an HIV patient is not going to get his or her drugs and a pregnant mother is not going to get the prenatal care that she's entitled to."
The first phase of the campaign is the launch of an e-learning platform available at
in English, French, Russian and Spanish. The platform aims to empower staff and grant implementers by giving them the tools to be able to recognize the early signs of fraud and corruption in the programs financed by the Global Fund. A number of Global Fund opinion leaders have also testified their support to the campaign through video, including members of the Board.
The second phase of the campaign involves reaching out to targeted communities in country. In Ukraine, the focus will be on disrupting bribes that people who inject drugs have to pay to get into harm reduction programs; in Côte d'Ivoire, on interrupting supply chain leakages that lead to free tuberculosis drugs being sold in street markets; in Malawi, on preventing free malaria drugs from being diverted and sold for a profit. Where possible, the Office of the Inspector General is working with local partners, civil society or members of the donor community including Transparency International and the Fondation Chirac in France.
"Reporting wrongdoing to the Office of the Inspector General is simple, safe and completely confidential," said Katie Hodson, Head of Investigations. "If you suspect wrongdoing in the programs we fund, you can contact us by email, telephone, online or even face to face. Every report is assessed carefully and we will keep you regularly informed of progress."
Visit the I Speak Out Now! e-learning platform at
Thomas Fitzsimons, Communications Specialist, Office of the Inspector General
Mobile: +41 79 412 14 61
About the Office of the Inspector General
The Office of the Inspector General safeguards the assets, investments, reputation and sustainability of the Global Fund by ensuring that it takes the right action to defeat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Through audits, investigations and consultancy work, it promotes good practice, reduces risk and reports fully and transparently on abuse.
Established in 2005, the Office of the Inspector General is an independent yet integral part of the Global Fund. It is accountable to the Board through its Audit and Ethics Committee and serves the interests of all Global Fund stakeholders. Its work conforms to the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing and the Uniform Guidelines for Investigations of the Conference of International Investigators.
The Global Fund believes that every dollar counts and has zero tolerance for fraud, corruption and waste. Through its whistle-blowing channels, the Office of the Inspector General encourages all to speak out to report fraud, abuse and human rights violations that prevent Global Fund resources from reaching those who need them.