Global Fund Supports Uganda’s Actions To Address Grant Mismanagement, Expresses Hope Grants Will Be Reinstated
The Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Wednesday expressed hope that it will reinstate its five grants to Uganda in October because the country is taking action to address alleged mismanagement of the grants, the AP/Guardian reports (AP/Guardian, 9/1). The Global Fund last week announced its suspension of five grants worth more than $200 million after an audit of one of the grants by PricewaterhouseCoopers found evidence of serious mismanagement by the Ugandan Ministry of Health's Project Management Unit, which was established to implement the grants. The fund has requested that the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, which serves as the principal recipient for the five grants, implement a new method of effectively managing the grants by the end of October. The Ugandan government on Wednesday appointed a four-member commission to investigate the allegations and brought in international accounting and auditing firm Ernst & Young to temporarily take over management of the country's AIDS funding from the PMU (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/31). In a joint statement with the Ugandan government, the Global Fund said the country has made "very significant and positive decisions" that will hopefully lead to the grants being reinstated "within a short space of time" (Joint release, 8/31). Brad Herbert, the Global Fund's chief of operations, said, "We have confidence in the governance mechanisms to address the problem," adding, "The commission will take a month to do its work. The suspension, I believe, will be lifted at the latest in October" (AP/Guardian, 9/1). He said the grants would be reinstated "if what we have agreed on goes well" (Nyakairu, Reuters AlertNet, 8/31). Herbert said that the provision of lifesaving treatment and prevention activities will continue in Uganda while the investigations are ongoing (Joint release, 8/31). He said that a three-person Global Fund team will remain in Uganda to monitor the projects and "see that nobody suffers" (AFP/Yahoo! News, 8/31).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.