Also In Global Health News: Global Fund In Zambia; International Corruption; Malnutrition in North Korea; U.N. Emergency Appeals For Benin, Djibouti

Zambian Health Coalition Calls For Audit After Global Fund OIG Finds Irregularities

Zambia’s Civil Society Health Forum (CSHF), a coalition of HIV/AIDS organizations, “has demanded for forensic audits in the four principal recipient (PR) organisations of the Global Fund and prosecution of officers responsible for misapplying donor funds,” the Post Online reports. In a statement to the cabinet committee on HIV/AIDS, CSHF chairperson Felix Mwanza “noted that the recent audit conducted by the office of the inspector general (OIG) of the Global Fund had a number of alarming irregularities,” which he wrote “are not only embarrassing to the minister but the entire cabinet on HIV and AIDS committee which is supposed to advise our Head of State on HIV/AIDS issues.” Mwanza also “called for an improved monitoring and communication process and subsequent relevant actions among stakeholders in the global health initiatives in order to reinforce mutual accountability in financing institutions,” according to the article (Mwenda, 11/4).

TIME Examines International Corruption Including Effects On Public Health, Poverty

In advance of the 14th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC), TIME examines global corruption writing, it “is like the common cold: all pervasive, continuously mutating, probably incurable. … Total eradication is impossible, but that doesn’t mean fighting back is futile. After a survey in Bangladesh showed that 44% of patients in public-health facilities paid bribes, hundreds of youth volunteers were dispatched to give free advice. Afterward, the number of bribes went down, and the number of available doctors went up.” The article also gives examples of challenges and efforts to fight corruption in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, where the recently-elected president has been criticized for “failing to live up to his reformist campaign slogan, ‘Without corruption, there’s no poverty'” (Marshall, 11/4).

N. Korean Children ‘Losing The Battle Against Malnutrition,’ WFP Director Says

Concluding a visit to North Korea, U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) Director Josette Sheeran said, “I saw a lot of children already losing the battle against malnutrition … Their bodies and minds are stunted and so we really feel the need there … We want to make sure we reach the most vulnerable children,” Reuters reports. Speaking in Beijing, Sheeran noted that WFP’s North Korea program is “only 20 percent funded,” causing “breaks in the supply” (11/4). Sheeran visited “an orphanage, a factory, and a hospital where children were being treated for malnutrition,” as well as WFP’s operations in the country, the Canadian Press reports (11/4).

U.N. Launches Emergency Appeals For Flood-Hit Benin, Drought Victims In Djibouti

The U.N. has appealed for $46.8 million in emergency assistance “for hundreds of thousands of people in Benin who have been struggling to survive the worst flooding in a century” as well as nearly $39 million “to provide assistance to the drought victims, including 25,000 children under 5 years who have shown signs of malnutrition” in Djibouti, Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C reports. According to the U.N. News Centre, the agency’s “Emergency Humanitarian Action Plan (EHAP)” for Benin “will target 250,000 people with food assistance and agricultural support, as well as aiming to reach 680,000 people with health care and improved access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene” (11/3). “Like much of the region, Benin was experiencing a nutrition and food security crisis before the floods hit,” Valerie Amos, U.N. under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs said, Agence France-Presse writes. “The loss of homes, livestock, clothing, agricultural tools and seeds will have devastating and long-lasting effects for many people” (11/3). 

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