Wall Street Journal Profiles Incoming Global Fund Head Richard Feachem
The Wall Street Journal today profiles Richard Feachem, the incoming head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, who is expected to deliver an address today at the XIV International AIDS Conference in Barcelona, Spain, containing a message "that many activists won't want to hear": "Misspending money may be just as damaging as not spending enough." Feachem "enraged" many AIDS activists last month when he "played down the impact of the Bush administration's effort to effectively reduce next year's global AIDS funding by $300 million," partly by diverting funds that had been earmarked for the Global Fund, the Journal reports. He said then that the fund has "more than enough money to move ahead." Several activists called for Feachem's resignation, and many who back increased AIDS funding "telephoned [him] to criticize what they called a tactical mistake." Feachem now says he agrees with those who have called for increased AIDS spending, but "insists" that the Global Fund "must first establish credibility and accountability" in order to "attract the truly massive funds required to mount a comprehensive global effort," the Journal reports. Feachem adds that "he has assurances that more funds will flow when effective systems are in place." Feachem has also been criticized for his salary package, which totals at least $200,000 per year (Bank, Wall Street Journal, 7/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.