UNDP Joins Global Fund in Announcing Enhanced Financial Safeguards
New York - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today announced new measures aimed at strengthening even more of its safeguards against fraud and corruption in the global fight against pandemic diseases in the developing world. UNDP also welcomed the similar safeguards just announced by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
“Over the last decade, the global fight against AIDS and other infectious diseases has been remarkably successful, saving many millions of lives and helping families, communities, and countries to grow stronger,” UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said in a statement. “When funds intended for life-saving treatment and prevention are stolen, that theft is tantamount to murder.” The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is the largest international channel of financial support for work on those three diseases, which disproportionately affect the world’s least developed countries. UNDP works with the Global Fund as an intermediary in 27 countries to ensure that funding is invested in effective programmes for vulnerable populations.
UNDP is a Principal recipient for approximately 12 percent of the Global Fund’s overall portfolio, often working in challenging environments, such as in countries emerging from natural disasters, conflicts, or political crises. “UNDP welcomes the steps announced by the Global Fund today to enhance its financial safeguards and strengthen fraud prevention. UNDP will be supporting the Global Fund’s efforts, and taking additional measures of its own,” Helen Clark said.
The measures announced by UNDP today include: Recruitment of a dedicated and specialized fulltime investigator to respond to credible allegations of fraud or corruption in UNDP-managed Global Fund grants, to strengthen further the existing UNDP investigative team and complement UNDP’s three dedicated Global Fund audit specialists; Development of formal “capacity development” initiatives in all countries where UNDP manages ongoing Global Fund grants, with specific attention to long-term anti-corruption, governance, and accountability systems. Twelve such initiatives have been developed and launched in the last twelve months, and a further thirteen will be put in place by the end of 2011 Submission of a proposal to UNDP’s Executive Board to allow the Global Fund to access UNDP audit reports of Global Fund projects, a privilege currently restricted to UN Member States. Agreement of a Memorandum of Understanding between UNDP’s Office of Audit and Investigation and the Global Fund’s Office of the Inspector-General to strengthen co-operation and information-sharing on investigations into fraud and corruption.
UNDP’s partnership with the Global Fund has already brought treatment to more than 26 million cases of malaria and 700,000 cases of tuberculosis from Southern Sudan to the Democratic Republic of Congo to Liberia, Belarus, Haiti, and Tajikistan. “Hundreds of thousands of people with HIV are surviving and thriving on the medication provided by these projects. We have an excellent track record in managing risk, preventing fraud and corruption, recovering money when it has been stolen, and collaborating with police and judicial authorities as required. Working in partnership with the Global Fund, we can and we must do better,” Helen Clark said. Read more...