A $46.9 million anti-malaria grant set to be launched next year by the Global Fund will go ahead only if its finances are no longer managed by the government’s National Malaria Center.
The switch comes amid a highly confidential, ongoing investigation by the fund, which a spokesman for Cambodia’s single largest health donor last night said “uncovered credible and substantive evidence of serious financial wrongdoing, on procurement and other issues”.
“Immediate action has been taken to protect the health of people supported by Global Fund grants in Cambodia, by adopting safeguards in procurement, financing and management. The Global Fund and country stakeholders are also considering potential changes in implementer arrangements,” communications department head Seth Faison wrote in an email.
In an announcement printed in a local English-language newspaper on Wednesday, the fund’s local partner writes that approval for the next round of grants had been made “conditional upon the Country Coordinating Committee identifying a new Principal Recipient for the grant”.
The grant is expected to go into effect on April 1, 2013.
Now, a government agency – the National Center for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria control – is the principal recipient, which means it has autonomy to manage the finances granted by the fund.
Tia Phalla, chair of the Fund’s Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) and vice chair of the government’s National AIDS Authority, confirmed that the request was made at the Fund’s behest but declined to speak further on the matter.