Global Fund Board Should Reverse Decision To Suspend Grants To North Korea
NK News: Why is the Global Fund pulling out of North Korea?
Kwonjune J. Seung, medical director at the Eugene Bell Foundation
“…In a decision that garnered little media coverage, on February 21, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria … announced that it was suspending its grants in North Korea, after eight years of working in the country. … For those with an understanding of the tuberculosis epidemic in North Korea, the sudden announcement came as an unwelcome shock. North Korea has one of the highest TB rates in the world. … Because North Koreans are largely cut off from external humanitarian aid, they desperately need support from the Global Fund, which was designed to operate in the most difficult environments, free of political pressure that can block governments and NGOs. When the Board of the Global Fund meets on May 9, I hope they will reverse the decision to pull out of North Korea, not because the political winds have changed, but because they believe … that all people deserve health care for treatable illnesses, no matter the government under which they live…” (5/2).