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Global Fund doesn't tolerate corruption

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Ali Hewson and husband Bono, who is co-founder of Red

Ali Hewson and husband Bono, who is co-founder of Red

Ali Hewson and husband Bono, who is co-founder of Red

I WRITE with reference to Jason O'Brien's article "Global charity admits €25m 'missing' in massive fraud" (Irish Independent, January 25), referencing the findings of a Global Fund audit of funds published on its website last year and picked up by Associated Press (AP).

The Global Fund has zero tolerance for corruption. The original AP news report refers to well-known incidents that were surfaced and reported by the Global Fund itself and acted on immediately last year. There are no new revelations in recent media articles. In his report, the Global Fund's inspector general listed misuse of funds in four out of 145 countries which receive grants, representing $34m (€29.7m) out of the more than $13bn (€9.4bn) the Global Fund has at work in lifesaving programmes around the world. As a result immediate steps were taken in Djibouti, Mali, Mauritania and Zambia to halt grants, recoup funds and prosecute those involved. While any fraud is inexcusable, this accounts for three-tenths of 1pc -- a fractional amount across the entire fund.

Additionally, I would like to stress that no Red money was involved in these matters. Red chose the Global Fund to administer the money generated by the sale of Red products precisely due to their aggressive auditing tools and best practice transparency over their findings. Fraud and corruption exist all around the world.

That is why it is important to have the stringent policies in place, as the Global Fund does, to surface it early, address it quickly and make it public.

We should be thankful that these policies exist so that the lifesaving work can continue and we can root out corruption that could otherwise derail it.

Red was created to drive private sector money in to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to help the fund fulfil its charter as a public/private partnership.

To date, programmes supported by the Global Fund have saved 6.5 million lives through providing AIDS treatment for three million people, anti-tuberculosis treatment for 7.7 million people and the distribution of 160 million insecticide-treated nets for the prevention of malaria.

Seb Bishop
International CEO, Red

Irish Independent