Economy (FPCCI raises alarm over misuse of Global Fund aid)

Islamabad: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Thursday expressed serious concern over vast corruption in the aid received from The Global Fund to fight tuberculosis, malaria and AIDS.

Massive abuse of funds, corruption and mismanagement in programme financed by the Global Fund though systematic fraud has compromised Pakistan’s ability to overcome the killer diseases, said Zubair Ahmed Malik, President FPCCI.

In a statement, he said that misuse of grants by the world’s largest donor against three diseases must be stopped and NAB should probe the matter to bring culprits to book bringing bad name to the country.

The mismanagement must be uncovered and made public otherwise we would be running risk of suspension or discontinuation of grants, he warned.

Zubair Ahmed Malik said that corruption has led to increased exposure of population to tuberculosis, malaria and AIDS which is intolerable.

He said that Global Fund has placed a Country Coordinating Mechanism to ensure local ownership, participatory decision-making, multi-stakeholder partnerships and supervision progress during implementation.

However, a mafia has left the mechanism ineffective by removing all the representatives of private sector and NGOs except those who will endorse all the decisions unquestionably. By avoiding opposition, all the decisions become unanimous and harmonious enough to deceive the donor, its policy board and Global Fund Inspector General’s office, he added.

The FPCCI chief said that the unabated plunder includes award of juicy contracts to blue eyed, procurement of medicines and other equipment on paper, promoting dishonest and discouraging the upright.

He said that federal health ministry has been informed about the situation time and again by numerous stakeholders but it has failed to act accordingly or ensure appropriate use of funds. Absence of corrective measures will lead to wastage of most of the funds in the dollar 350 million aid, said Malik.

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