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Global Fund Executive Director Describes ‘Psychological Effect’ Of Suspended Donations

While in Brussels on Monday, Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, spoke about the potential effects several countries’ decisions to temporarily suspend payments to the Geneva-based fund could have on recipient countries, Reuters reports.

After reports of an internal audit showed Djibouti, Mali, Mauritania and Zambia misused Global Fund grant money totaling $34 million, Denmark, Germany and Spain temporarily suspended their payments while the Global Fund conducted further investigations. In addition to halting payments to the countries in question, the Global Fund announced new anti-corruption measures, including the formation of an external committee to review its financial controls.

“I think the money will be paid, but there will be a psychological effect,” Kazatchkine told reporters in Brussels ahead of a meeting with European Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs at the European Parliament. Fear that donations might run out could lead health authorities in recipient countries to rein in disease prevention programs, Kazatchkine cautioned. “If you are a health minister in a developing country, it will make you hesitate,” he added (4/11).

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