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Global Fund halts payments to China

May 28, 2011

(AFP)

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ii-uNZQd6Ipa4P-90FcURA4vwx1A?docId=CNG.88fd56d674abda860b0428dc480c8b1d.a61

GENEVA — The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has
halted payments for programmes in China amid mismanagement by a public
agency, a spokesman said on Monday.

"In May, we froze all disbursements in China," said Andrew Hurst,
spokesman of the Global Fund, confirming media reports.

"We have identified weaknesses in the quality of the implementation of
the finances in China," he added.

In November, the Global Fund had halted the disbursement of funds for
the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said
Hurst.

"We believe that the main recipient, the CDC, had violated an accord
of the Global Fund which said that a part of the financing accorded,
at least 35 percent, must go through community organisations," he
added.

The spokesman noted that its representatives and Chinese authorities
held "high-level talks" last week in China to find a solution.

Hurst said the CDC agreed to meet the Global Fund's requirements by
certain deadlines.

"If it respects these deadlines, the disbursement to China can
restart," he said.

Launched about 10 years ago, the Global Fund is the world's biggest
single source of funding to tackle three of the world's greatest
killer diseases, with an overall budget of $21.7 billion drawn from
150 countries and private donors.

However, the public-private partnership has been hit by corruption
problems over the past few months.

In December, the Geneva-based organisation said that $34 million went
missing in four African countries -- Djibouti, Mali, Mauritania and
Zambia.

It has since appointed a team to improve its financial control and
oversight procedures.

The Global Fund has disbursed over $539 million in China where it has
been active since 2003.

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