AP Enterprise: Fraud plagues global health fund - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

AP Enterprise: Fraud plagues global health fund

GENEVA (AP) - The Associated Press has learned that corruption is taking a big bite out of a $22 billion fund to fight AIDS and other diseases that has been billed as an alternative to the bureaucracy of the United Nations.

Investigators for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have found that as much as two-thirds of some grants are eaten up by corruption. They say much of the money is accounted for with forged documents or improper bookkeeping, indicating it was pocketed. They also say they've found donated prescription drugs stolen and resold on commercial markets.

The office of the fund's inspector general says it can't give an overall accounting because it's only examined a small fraction of the $10 billion that's been spent since the fund's creation in 2002. But they say the levels of corruption in the grants audited so far are astonishing.

Inspector general John Parsons says donors should be reassured that the fund is serious about uncovering corruption. It is pulling or suspending grants from nations where corruption is found, and demanding recipients return millions of dollars of misspent money.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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