OPEN LETTER: (By Jawar Mohammed)
To: The Global Fund Board of Directors
Cc: -The Global Fund Secretariat
- Global Fund’s Office of the Inspector General
Global Fund, as the 21st century partnership-based financing organization designed to accelerate the end of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics, is indeed contributing its fair share for the global health and wellbeing of millions of people.
As Ethiopia is one of the top recipients of support from the Global Fund, there is no doubt that many poor patients have benefited irrespective of the level of corruption and misappropriation of funds on the part of the ruling regime.
The country has received over $2 billion from 2002 to 2016, as per the report of the Global Fund itself. But the regime in power misused and misappropriated much of this money by manipulating and taking advantage of Global Fund’s good-intentioned principle called ‘Country ownership’ -- at the heart of which is the golden idea that people determine their own solutions in fighting the diseases affecting their health, and take full responsibility for them.
However, the regime in Ethiopia has effectively manipulated this principle to use global fund resources for its own political end goals. The 2015 audit report of the office of the general inspector of the Global Fund itself briefly touched up on these problems.
For the malaria grant for example, the report rightly identified the following problems:
• Inadequate Monitoring and Evaluation and Poor Data Quality;
• Theft or Diversion of Non-Financial Resources;
• Poor Financial Reporting;
• Treatment Disruption;
• Substandard Quality of Health Products;
• Inadequate Principal Recipient Reporting and Compliance.
To illustrate the report’s important point on diversion of resources for wrong purposes, there is no better example than drawing your kind attention to a recent case in the city of Ambo, where the regime deployed its brutal security forces using the vehicles obtained by the Ministry of Health using foreign funding such to crack down on anti-government protesters who were on the streets protesting a newly introduced tax hike.
As a result, the protesters have torched one of the vehicles in mid-June but the regime continued using these vehicles to transport its security agents. Several evidences show that these vehicles which the tyrant regime in Ethiopia is using to transport its security forces to kill protesters, were procured by the Global Fund grants.
The Global Fund secretariat should therefore reconsider and submit to rigorous scrutiny its partnership with the corrupt and repressive regime of Ethiopia.
Financial supports from the Global Fund should not be used to enable the repressive security structures of the regime that kills its own citizens but to help the needy people of the country. To this end, the Global Fund has not only the moral responsibility but also the legal duty to make sure that all its financial supports to the regime are used solely for their intended purposes.
We are therefore kindly requesting the Board Directors of the Global Fund to undertake the necessary investigations on the misuse, misappropriation and diversion of resources that the regime in Ethiopia receives as grants from the Global Fund.