Nigeria’s Global Fund Grants for AIDS Might Be Suspended Over ‘Concerns’ About Management, Letter Obtained by Reuters Says
The Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria might suspend millions of dollars in HIV/AIDS grants to Nigeria because of "concerns" over grant management and transparency of fund allocation, according to a letter from a Global Fund panel, Reuters reports. Reuters acquired the letter on Wednesday. The letter says the panel will recommend that the Global Fund suspend two of Nigeria's five-year grants totaling $80 million because "[s]erious concerns have been raised about grant implementation and the ability of the principal recipient to achieve the goals of the grants." The two grants provide funding for programs to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission and improve access to antiretroviral drugs. The Global Fund letter points out inconsistencies in data provided by the country's National Action Committee on AIDS -- the principal recipient of the funds -- including the number of people taking antiretrovirals. The letter also states that a computerized accounting system has not been set up to trace disbursement of funding -- a pre-condition of the grants. NACA spokesperson Sam Archibong said the committee has made changes to its management of the grants in response to the letter. "NACA has taken all the requested issues and answered the questions, and we're hoping that they're satisfied with it," Archibong said. According to a Global Fund spokesperson, the fund is reviewing further information provided by Nigeria's Country Coordinating Mechanism, the Global Fund's country-level partner for grant proposals. "A final recommendation about the grants will be issued to the board of the Global Fund on Dec. 1," the spokesperson said in an e-mail, adding, "Board members will then have 10 days to have an in-depth look at these" recommendations (Shirbon, Reuters, 11/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.