When some of these facts came to light last year, the Swedish and German governments froze contributions to the Global Fund. The organization came under scrutiny and several donors pulled back. The Global Fund has since replaced its chief executive and restructured its aid model to improve accountability. Yet in some critical ways, it is still business as usual.
For example, the Global Fund works with the United Nations Development Program to manage its programs in some of the world’s poorest countries. Under international law, U.N. agencies do not have to open their books to independent auditors — and the U.N. Development Program takes full advantage of this. Investigations into the diversion of aid funding are often stonewalled by this agency.
If our political leaders truly want to protect the poorest and most vulnerable, they should keep aid flowing through PMI. Cutting its budget will have an immediate impact on childhood mortality rates in Africa. Rerouting those funds to agencies beyond the reach of the U.S. Congress will only make them prey to corruption.
Roger Bate, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is co-author of the paper, “Prioritizing Malaria Control in a Time of Foreign Aid Austerity.”