Global Fund Deputy GM Says Organization ‘Not In Crisis’ At Roundtable Discussion

“Although coming off a rocky year in 2011, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is ‘not in crisis,'” Inter Press Service reports, referring to comments made by the organization’s deputy general manager, Debrework Zewdie, at a roundtable hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday. Zewdie noted the resumption of commitments to the fund from bilateral donors, despite the international economic crisis and last year’s allegations of mismanagement, the news service adds.

According to IPS, the Global Fund is working to implement a plan “aimed at dealing with issues of complexity and mismanagement. Zewdie reported that while the Global Fund’s grant-making monies used to be evenly split between administrative and programmatic costs, an expedited 60-day overhaul resulted in administrative costs being cut down to a quarter of the total.” Speaking to IPS, Mark Isaac, interim president of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said,”Dr. Zewdie delivered a clear message that the Global Fund’s transformation is well underway, with a strong new focus on impeccable grant management,” according to the news service. “She also underscored how critical ongoing U.S. leadership is to ensuring support from other nations and to reaching those most in need around the world with lifesaving services,” IPS notes, adding, “The Global Fund’s most significant donor, the United States, has maintained its backing throughout the difficulties of the past year.” Germany, Japan, Spain, and the U.K. also recently have announced new or renewed contributions to the Global Fund, the news service notes (Biron, 4/26).