Transparency at Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria will not be punished

Despite cases of misappropriation accounting for $34 million in four countries (Djibouti, Mali, Mauritania and Zambia) identified and published by the Global Fund, the Netherlands does not intend to suspend its contribution to the Fund. ‘We have a zero-tolerance policy on fraud and corruption. Any suspicion of abuse and corruption will be investigated and, if necessary, prosecuted. The investigation being conducted by the Fund’s independent Inspector General is in keeping with this policy. The Netherlands has no desire to reward a culture of silence and penalise efforts to maintain transparency.’

In December 2010 the House of Representatives submitted an amendment to ease spending cuts on HIV/AIDS reduction by €25.5 million. Today the Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation announced how this amount would be apportioned: ‘€14.5 million will go to the Global Fund, bringing the total contribution to that organisation to €54.5 million for 2011. €3 million will go to UNAIDS, bringing that total to €25 million for 2011. €1 million will go to WHO, for a total of €16 million, including the mandatory contribution. Finally, €7 million has been earmarked for a number of Dutch NGOs involved in combating AIDS among vulnerable groups, as requested in the motion by MP Hachchi.’

In the government’s talks with the House of Representatives on the issue, there was general condemnation of the financial abuses. More specifically, the debate focused on the consequences of the investigation and the lessons for the way in which transparency can be increased at other development organisations, including those under the UN umbrella.