19 April 2012
London - The United Kingdom’s International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, told a parliamentary hearing that the speed and effectiveness of reforms underway at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria are on target.
Mr. Mitchell told a select committee for international development on Tuesday that he thought the new leadership at the Global Fund warranted renewed confidence, and he singled out the Global Fund’s new General Manager, Gabriel Jaramillo, for bringing in improved management and financial supervision.
"The General Manager is doing a brilliant job,” Mr. Mitchell said.
Since he began in February, Mr. Jaramillo has implemented a reorganization of the Global Fund, sharpening financial oversight and significantly increasing the number of staff working directly on the management of grants.
Mr. Mitchell told the hearing that the UK was already committed to giving the Global Fund 128 million pounds (204 million US dollars) "this year, next year and the year after."
Yet the UK could significantly increase its annual contribution from 2013 to 2015, he added, if reforms currently underway are successful.
After the hearing, Andrew Mitchell said: “The past two years have been difficult for the Global Fund but I am encouraged that strong leadership is now in place and action is being taken to begin a process of robust reform.”
“The UK is prepared to agree a significant increase in our contribution to the Global Fund – but it must show that the reform program remains on track and is having an impact.
"We will need to be absolutely clear that British taxpayers are getting value for money for their support to the Fund," Mr. Mitchell said.
Mr. Mitchell noted that the Global Fund has been run by experts who are outstanding on health issues but added that “there has been less good management practice and that is what we are putting in place."
"In addressing that, we make the Global Fund much stronger,” said Mr. Mitchell.
Mr. Jaramillo also spoke at the hearing, telling the committee that there is no better investment than saving lives through disease prevention and treatment.