Future of the Global Fund Transcript

Earlier, we publicized the CGD event on the future of the Global Fund. The transcript is posted on the CGD website. People were largely pretty boosterish on the Global Fund which contrasts with the recent Washington Post editorial. It appears that the February board meeting will be the next critical meeting to discuss the next director of the Global Fund. Here are some interesting bits from outgoing Global Fund director Richard Feachem:

Fifthly, corruption – much spoken about, very difficult. If you’re in the business of fighting AIDS, TB and malaria, you’re in a high risk business because you are financing work in some of the most systemically corrupt countries in the world. I think the Global Fund has set up systems to detect misuse of funds which are good and which are working and I think the Global Fund also is fortunate to have a very, a very strong ability to act quickly and strongly on any evidence of corruption and this comes from our legal status. We are not part of the United Nations therefore we’re not owned by member states. We are not a bilateral organization subject to the political relationships between Country A and Country B which can sometimes override tough decisions about corruption. We are a Swiss foundation.

I like to tell the story when we terminated to – we suspended to Ukraine just before the Ukrainian elections a few years ago on corruption grounds and the then-president of Ukraine called Kofi Annan and said “You’ve got to stop **** from doing this. He’s embarrassing me terribly. You’ve got to talk to him,” and Kofi Annan said, “You talk to him. He doesn’t work for me.”

He also talked about the importance of renewing PEPFAR when it expires in 2008.

The PEPFAR and the Global Fund together will have probably 2.4 million people on anti- retroviral therapy by the end of 2007. That is anti-retroviral therapy until death. That is the kind of promise between the wealthy nations and the poorer nations that we’ve never entered into before. If the money stops the drugs stop and people are dead within weeks. If the money fluctuates the drugs fluctuate and resistance is greatly fueled by the virus to the drugs, in the virus to the drugs.

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