King Wolfowitz’s Ghost

Paul Wolfowitz’s turbulent tenure as World Bank president was marked by an aggressive anti-corruption agenda. Apparently, Germany is also disturbed by apparent corruption.  The BBC is reporting that Germany is suspending its contributions to the Global Fund citing misuse and mismanagement. Looking forward to a robust discussion about the impact of corruption on development in the comments section.




Germany has suspended its annual payment of more than 200m euros (£172m) to the Global Fund against Aids, TB and malaria, following corruption claims. Germany is the third-biggest donor to the UN-backed fund, which has an annual budget of more than $20bn (£12bn). It has been alleged that the fund’s controls are poor in some countries and possibly billions of dollars have been siphoned off.


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One Response to King Wolfowitz’s Ghost

  1. Jason Kerwin says:

    Back in 2007 I led a Katrina cleanup Alternative Spring Break trip to New Orleans, and we spent part of one day visiting the local FEMA offices. It was a bizarre experience for a lot of reasons – their building was really nice, and located outside of the city limits for some bogus-sounding reason. At one point one of the higher-ups tried to field a question about corruption by pointing out that the federal government has a lot of money, that some misappropriation is inevitable, and that it's worth the tradeoff to reach needy people.

    He was totally right but completely tone-deaf. Stepping up monitoring would cut off poor people from needed resources, and probably wouldn't have been worth the money saved (that's a tough judgment call). But aid agencies need to handle PR better than that – FEMA was in the middle of a shitstorm over massive waste on the one hand and people still waiting for temporary housing 1.5 years after Katrina on the other.

    Speaking of PR, this is just for show and possibly political gain. Germany, allegedly the third-leading donor to the Global Fund, is supplying a trivial 1% of its budget. They'd think again if cutting off the funds were going to have a real impact.

    As an aside, the US as usual doesn't get the credit it deserves for funding needy causes. Here are some charts showing how we dominate the list of Global Fund donors: http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/donors/statistics/?lang=en

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