News Releases

The Global Fund suspends AIDS grant in Mali

02 March 2011

Geneva - The Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today suspended a US$ 13.91 million HIV/AIDS grant to Mali with immediate effect until new arrangements for managing the grant are in place to safeguard Global Fund assets. The current Principal Recipient, Groupe Pivot Santé Population, will be replaced.

The decision to suspend the grant comes after evidence was discovered that Global Fund grant money has been misused. It is part of a process of restoring confidence in the ability of Mali’s health sector to manage Global Fund resources appropriately.

The Global Fund is committed to ensuring that all its dealings are completely transparent. A review published on Tuesday by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) gave the Global Fund high marks for transparency and accountability.

In December 2010, the Global Fund suspended funding of two malaria grants in Mali and terminated a third grant for tuberculosis after evidence of misappropriation and unjustified expenditure was found.

The suspended grant provides funding for prevention programs, including condom distribution, voluntary counseling and testing and support for children who have been orphaned or made vulnerable by the AIDS epidemic.

The grant suspension does not affect any of the 22,500 patients on antiretroviral treatment in Mali. They are financed by a second grant, managed by the National High Council for HIV/AIDS control of Mali, which is not affected by this decision. The Global Fund has grant agreements with Mali totalling US$ 123 million, of which US$ 79 million has been disbursed.

All necessary steps have been taken to ensure that life-saving treatment financed by the Global Fund will not be disrupted in any of the grants that have been suspended, including treatment for Multidrug–Resistant TB patients and transfer of suspended grants to entities with confirmed managerial and operational capability.

The government of Mali has condemned the misuse of funds and is working with the Global Fund to solve problems and ensure that grant activities can resume as soon as possible. So far, 16 people have been arrested in connection with the misuse of Global Fund resources.

The Global Fund has zero tolerance with regard to fraud and corruption. All Global Fund grants are subject to a rigorous system of financial controls in place both at country level and at the Global Fund’s Secretariat in Geneva. In addition, the Global Fund’s Inspector General undertakes independent audits and investigations. To date, the Inspector General has completed or is in the process of conducting audits or investigations in 33 of the 145 countries where the Global Fund has grants.