Written in conjunction with Bono, my fellow founder of product (RED)
We think this week's AP story about The Global Fund is the best possible news.
When we formed (RED), we wanted the Fund to administer the money because we knew the Fund was set up to find the bad guys early. Many other international organizations do not have the aggressive tools used by the Fund. Others find bad guys late in the game.
But we knew the Fund would find them and shut them down immediately. We also knew they would publicize their findings, putting more pressure on other bad guys.
So this story is exactly what we knew would happen. We are thrilled.
We also know that the idea of zero corruption is a naïve, impossible standard. It does not exist in Africa. And it does not exist anywhere else in the world. Take a look at the banking crisis in the developed world. Does anyone think the 1st world's banks have less corruption that the Fund? And does anyone think those same banks brought their problems to public via the AP?
Not a chance.
We are thrilled that their system has worked. The Global Fund discovered fraud in a fractional portion of their disbursements (less than 3/10ths of 1% of the total money -- and NO (RED) money whatsoever) and took immediate action
We applaud The Global Fund for this innovative and entrepreneurial best-practice.
The recent Associated Press article highlights this best practice in action and, further, underscores the transparency with which The Global Fund conducts its business (the source for the story was The Global Fund's own Inspector General's report).
By implementing stringent standards and by being diligent in quickly addressing issues such as those raised in the IG's report, the Global Fund has made tremendous progress in the fight against AIDS. In just eight years it has saved 6.5 million lives by providing AIDS treatment for 3 million people.
We've started to take the fight to streets, thanks to the Global Fund. But, we have much more to do. Together, we can end mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS by 2015 and create the first AIDS-free generation.