by Sheela Philomena on  January 24, 2011 at 11:07 AM General Health News
 Sweden Refuses Health Aid Funding
Sweden has told Michel Kazatchkine, head of the global fund to fight world's biggest killer diseases that it will not pay its 167 million euro contribution unless something is done to ensure that the cash is not siphoned off, says a report.

Michel Kazatchkine, the executive director of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said that Sweden's refusal to meet its commitments would have a major impact on his organisation's plans.

But after talks with Kazatchkine in Stockholm on Friday, Development Minister Gunilla Carlsson said that Sweden felt more had to be done to prevent its cash falling victim to corruption among recipient countries.

"We are paying greater heed to the danger of corruption so before we commit ourselves to aid, we want to see practical measures put in place to combat this problem," the minister was quoted as saying by the Svenska Dagbladet daily.

According to the paper, Sweden has refused to stump up its 1.5 billion krona (167 million euro, $226m) contribution for the period covering 2011-2013 since a report by the United Nations last year showed how donors' cash had been diverted by corrupt officials in at least four countries.

Sweden is the biggest per capita contributor to the fund which was created by the G8 group of industrialised nations in 2002.

The Swedish contribution "is a significant amount of money for us," Kazatchkine was quoted as saying by newspaper.

"The fact that Sweden is stalling on its commitment is not a good sign. We need to know quickly whether we can pour our energies into our aid projects," he added.

"We also believe that we have demonstrated a much greater degree of transparency and that we are doing everything that we can to fight corruption."

The fund, which has an overall budget of 21.7 billion dollars drawn from 150 countries, is the largest single source of funding for three of the world's biggest killer diseases.

Source: AFP

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