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Global anti-disease fund may cut aid to China in half

(Beijing Times)

16:48, September 01, 2011

Edited and Translated by Han Shasha, People's Daily Online

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will unfreeze hundreds of millions of dollars of disease-fighting grants to China, and the funds will be restored in September. However, the funds will be cut by more than 50 percent.

In July this year, delegations of the Global Fund visited Beijing to build a financial system to ensure the safety of funds.

Weber, senior official of the Secretariat of the Global Fund in charge of affairs in Asia, Europe, Latin America and Caribbean areas, said that as the fourth biggest recipient, China received a large amount of grants. Debate among global health experts is growing over the grants to China, with China’s strengthening economic power.

Weber said that the fund finds two problems after the inspection of projects in China. One is the Chinese government agencies breached an agreement by channeling too small a share of the funds to grass-roots groups. The second is that China does not have effective risk management. "Risks that lie in China's projects can be seen in two areas: one is human resources, the other is training," Weber said.

Weber also said that much of the training provided by the Global Fund is unnecessary. The Chinese government should cover some of the expense of the training, while the Global Fund will only support part of the necessary training. The portion of the reduced funds of the three projects is different, but the average reduction is more than 50 percent.

An official of the China Country Coordination Mechanism for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Project said that the portion of the reduction is unknown. But the Global Fund made it clear that it will renew the assistance plan to China, which indicates that the total amount of the funds will be cut.

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