News Releases

Global Fund suspends grant to the Executive Secretariat of the National AIDS Committee in Mauritania

09 September 2009

Geneva – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has suspended its funding to the Executive Secretariat of Mauritania’s National AIDS Committee after it found evidence of fraudulent and unjustified expenditures. The Global Fund has demanded the reimbursement, within three months, of US$ 1.7 million, found to be subject to fraud, and immediate removal of the people identified as responsible.

The decision to suspend the grant was prompted by the results of an investigation conducted by the Global Fund’s Inspector General, who identified that, additionally to the amount above, substantial expenditures out of the US $ 6.1 million disbursed by the Global Fund to the Executive Secretariat of the National AIDS Committee were not supported by appropriate documentation.

Malaria and tuberculosis grants awarded to the other Principal Recipient in Mauritania, the United Nations Development Programme, are not affected.

In addition to these measures, the Global Fund expects the Mauritanian authorities to put in place a Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) in accordance with the Global Fund’s eligibility criteria. The CCM should ensure that the Principal Recipient has a structure and leadership that is able to safely manage the funds. A CCM is a partnership at country-level that includes representatives from governments, multilateral or bilateral agencies, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, private businesses and people living with the diseases. This structure develops and submits grant proposals to the Global Fund based on national priority needs and after grant approval, it is also ultimately responsible for overseeing the programs during implementation.

All necessary measures have been taken to ensure that life-saving treatment financed by the Global Fund will not be disrupted. Currently around 1,000 people living with HIV are on anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment in Mauritania. The Global Fund will finance ARVs through alternative procurement and distribution channels during the grant suspension period.

The Global Fund remains committed to combat the three diseases in Mauritania and will provide all possible support to continue the fight against AIDS in the country.