The biggest funder of the fight against three major diseases has run out of money, slowing the advance in research and aid to poor patients.  An official with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced the news on Thursday, saying that they are unable to give new grants until 2014 due to global economic trouble, according to CBS News.

The Fund gathered an independent panel last March to discuss the financial situation of the organizations biggest donors, and the panel suggested that they create tougher financial safeguards.  The Fund has been the target of allegations of money mismanagement and alleged fraud.  Since the allegations, they have found $20 million in mismanagement, alleged fraud and misspending.

Because of these allegations, Germany, the European Commission and Denmark have withheld hundreds of millions of Euros from the Fund until a n internal investigation of money management occurs.  Germany has since given back the funding.

Since its 2002 creation, the Geneva based company has distributed about $15 billion to programs to coordinate world efforts against disease and to hasten emergency funds from wealthy nations to the poorer, more affected nations.

“We’re not cutting back — we’re not expanding,” the fund’s board chairman, Simon Bland, told The Associated Press from Accra, Ghana, according to CBS.

Just this year, the Fund spent $2.8 billion, including money to pay for treatment for almost half of the developing world’s AIDS patients.

The Fund can afford to keep existing AIDS programs going, but will not be able to expand or add new patients, CBS reports.  It will repurpose funds that had previously been allotted to countries such as China, Brazil, Mexico and Russia.

“It is deeply worrisome that inadvertently the millions of people fighting with deadly diseases are in danger of paying the price for the global financial crisis,” the fund’s executive director, Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, said in a statement according to  CBS.

About The Author

Brittney McNamara is a Blast Junior Editor

Leave a Reply