Newsfeed : Zimbabwe Returns $7.3 Million to Global Fund

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November 7, 2008

Zimbabwe Returns $7.3 Million to Global Fund

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has released $7.3 million in aid money belonging to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the fund’s executive director said November 7, Reuters reports.

In the past, the Global Fund had given grants worth up to $88 million to the sub-Saharan African nation, which has the fourth-highest rate of HIV prevalence in the world, but the fund warned November 6 that it would not give more until Zimbabwe returned the confiscated money.

“The Global Fund greatly appreciates this development, which will accelerate the lifesaving activities of malaria, TB and HIV programs supported by the Global Fund in Zimbabwe,” said the fund’s executive director, Michel Kazatchkine.

The fund had rerouted most of its money out of Zimbabwe as the country went into an economic crisis, but it left more than $12 million in the Reserve Bank to spend locally. The fund claimed that $7.3 million had been confiscated.

Local media had reported that the aid money was handed out by the Reserve Bank to buy tractors and expensive televisions, but Kazatchkine said the Global Fund has no evidence of fraud. The Reserve Bank also denies the charge.

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