Thursday, June 17, 2010

More than $300m of health funding to Zambia's government is being suspended by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

It said it was concerned about corruption in connection with one or more grants to the health ministry. It is not the first time Zambia has lost aid amid corruption claims: Sweden and the Netherlands stopped health aid and the EU halted road-building funds. The decision will be a big blow to the government which depends on aid to treat HIV/AIDS. The Global Fund also suspended assistance to Uganda in the past for serious mismanagement of its funds. Its funding, which comes from government and private sources, is directed at the world's poorest nations. Many of them are in sub-Saharan Africa, where corruption is widespread and there is a tacit but reluctant acceptance that some money is bound to go missing. But in the case of Zambia, warnings to the government to get its house in order have been ignored. The European Union has withdrawn some funding to Zambia for road-building because of corruption and the Netherlands and Sweden halted $30m of direct aid for the Zambian health ministry because money was disappearing into the pockets of officials.

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