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Old 06-22-2007, 01:16 PM   #1
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Global Fund article breaks my heart :(

I was hestitant to post this because I don't want to believe it.
And please feel free to prove this article wrong.... I am just copying here to share information on something as U2 fans we need to be aware of IF this is true at all.

I was flipping through the channels last night and I turn to c-span just see who was on, and this Congresswoman
( I am horrible I can't remember her name) was on speaking at the podium and I was just getting ready to change the channel and then she said GLOBAL FUND and my ears perked up because that is where DATA is funneling it's proceeds to fight AIDs via the RED Campaign. She was quoting this article from the Boston Globe which was published a couple of months ago and I can't believe it. This breaks my heart. Bobby Shriver and Bono have put so much in to this fight and now this comes out about Feachem , the leader of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS , whom they quoted as being very ethical and trustworthy, is using the funds for lavish expenses.
I went online and did a search to find this article posted in the BOSTON GLOBE. It doesn't sound good, but then again it could be they allow these execs to spend this kind of money??? I don't know. I couldn't find any other threads about this topic, sorry if it has been discussed here already.
Do you think this is true or just blown out of porportion? Do these execs get a large allowance for expenses and this article is just being alarmist? Even so it's sickening they are advocates for the poorest of the poor and they spend like this. It's just gross. I am depressed now. I had such hopes that this was all being ethically handled.
I hope this isn't true and that he is out of there by now.


Disease-fighting fund's expenses hit
Report asserts donations used for meals, limos
By John Donnelly, Globe Staff | February 5, 2007

WASHINGTON -- The executive director of a $7 billion fund to fight deadly diseases in the world's poorest countries has made extensive use of a little-known private bank account, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on limousines, expensive meals, boat cruises, and other expenses, according to an internal investigation.


Dr. Richard G.A. Feachem , the leader of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria , also frequently dipped into the office's petty cash, once spending $225.86 to rent a suit for a wedding involving the Dutch royal family -- and then double-billed the organization for the suit, the report said.
The Global Fund, which started in 2001 when then-United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan called for an emergency response to the AIDS pandemic, has funded programs in 136 countries.

The US government has contributed $1.9 billion so far, and the US House of Representatives approved an additional $724 million last week. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest private donor, pledging $650 million.

The internal report, completed in August by the Global Fund's inspector general, found that Feachem's spending habits created "potential risks," including loss of donor confidence because of "inadequate internal controls over funds."

Spending charity money on entertainment and limousine rides "could be perceived as unnecessarily lavish by donors," the report said.

Feachem, 59, was knighted last month by Queen Elizabeth II for his leadership of the Global Fund. He declined numerous requests for comment.

Global Fund spokesman Jon Liden disputed the context, tone, and several facts in the inspector general's report.

"When you read through the entire report, it becomes clear we are dealing with a report of extraordinarily poor quality in terms of accuracy, context, and fairness," Liden said in an interview last week.

But Liden did not dispute 37 specific limousine charges in cities across Europe and the United States, dozens of entertainment and meals expenses, and the suit rental, among other expenditures the inspector general deemed excessive.

"We have nothing to hide," Liden said.

A separate investigation, overseen by the World Health Organization, also raised concerns about the use of the private bank account, finding what it called "abnormal" payments that WHO probably would not have approved as part of a legal agreement to oversee Global Fund expenditures from its Geneva staff. Those items included lump-sum payments of $5,000 to seven fund managers described only as back pay and about 30 payments to help staff members find homes.

The findings of both the inspector general and WHO reports have not been previously reported.

For years, Feachem has cut a dashing and authoritative figure on the international circuit of public health summits and high-level meetings. He has been dean of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, director of the World Bank's health programs, and founder of the Institute for Global Health at the University of California-San Francisco.Continued...




Page 2 of 3 --
He is known for his eloquence and his relationships with rock stars and royalty, many of whom have been key supporters of the Global Fund. Colleagues describe him as a proud and an exacting figure, and note that he paid close attention to the terms of his compensation. His first contract with the Global Fund took months to negotiate, as did his terms of departure, which is expected next month.

He has earned roughly $320,000 a year tax-free, including a housing subsidy of more than $70,000 -- modest for a corporate CEO package, but unprecedented in public health. UNAIDS director Peter Piot , by contrast, earns $230,000 and receives no housing subsidy; US global AIDS Ambassador Mark Dybul earns roughly $145,000 in taxable income and also receives no housing subsidy.
The inspector general's report suggested that Feachem's heavy spending was shared by other managers. "Senior management failed to convey and reinforce the need for careful and prudent use of donor funds," the report said.

Global Fund leaders went to great lengths to keep both reports secret. The full board was not given copies of the inspector general's report, according to members. They said they were allowed to read WHO's report for just a few hours in a room and could not keep copies.

Lieve Fransen , deputy chairwoman of the board, said the secrecy was necessary to protect the Global Fund and its employees.

"I strongly believe we need to fully respect people's prerogative to defend themselves and explain what has happened," she said. "Making these reports public would undermine people's dignity, credibility, right to defense, and would undermine the credibility of the Global Fund."

The other 19 board members declined to comment on the reports.

Feachem is due to vacate his post next month. The board has been unable to agree on a successor, failing at a divisive meeting last November in Guatemala to settle on a candidate. It is scheduled to make a second attempt later this week in Geneva.

The future of the inspector general's office also is in limbo. Ibrahim Zeekeh , who took over the post a year ago, resigned effective last week, citing health reasons. Zeekeh, a veteran auditor who has worked in several UN organizations, declined to comment. The office now is left with just two auditors.

Meanwhile, some donors have expressed concern about oversight of the billions of dollars in programs from Latin America to Asia. Two years ago, Congress made 25 percent of the US contribution conditional on the hiring of an inspector general.

Pam Pearson , who from 2003 to 2005 was the State Department's chief liaison with the Global Fund, said the post must be filled quickly. "Whenever you have an organization that deals with that kind of money, you need to have a watchdog authority," she said.Continued

Allan Rosenfield , dean of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health , called Feachem's spending inexcusable.
"The board has allowed this to happen," he said. "They should be held accountable as well."

An ethics specialist hired last year as a consultant to the Global Fund's ethics committee also questioned the level of spending.

"I'm familiar with cost of limousines in New York City, but this is beyond the pale," said Willem Landman , chief executive officer of Ethics Institute of South Africa, a nonprofit group.

Charities have long wrestled with the compensation for chief executives, with some specialists maintaining that higher pay and more perks help attract stronger candidates. But Landman said there should be limits on spending by leaders of humanitarian groups.

"If a corporation decides to spend luxuriously on its chief executive, and it does a proper accounting to shareholders, they are entitled to do so," he said. "That seems to me different than the head of an organization handling donor funds -- funds that are designed for relieving the most vulnerable people in the world."

The 40-page inspector general's report focused on a private account in a Credit Suisse bank. From 2002 to 2005, the Credit Suisse payments amounted to more than $2.1 million. While the vast majority of Global Fund money is kept in the World Bank, Global Fund leaders said they wanted a separate account to process expenses more quickly.

The inspector general found that Feachem used the account as a private fund for business expenses, bypassing the normal channels for reimbursement through WHO.

Global Fund documents say he spent between $91 and $930 a day for limousines in London, Paris, Rome, Washington, and San Francisco, averaging $376 a day; "typically $50 to $100 per person" on his meal expenses; $1,695 for a dinner for 12 people at the US Senate dining room in Washington; and double-charged the $225.86 suit rental.

The inspector general's report cited other charges made by senior officers, including flowers for staff members; champagne at a retreat; $8,780 for a boat cruise on Lake Geneva in Switzerland; $8,436 for a dinner in Davos, Switzerland, for 63 people; and $5,150 for a meal and drinks for 74 staff members at a retreat at Montreux, Switzerland.

Liden, the fund's spokesman, said the limousine charges averaged $341 per day, not $376, which he called "standard rates" in Europe and justified "in lieu of the car and chauffeur that senior UN staff have available to them."

He said the Washington dinner cost $69 per person and additional charges were "related to room and overtime charges." Liden said only in "exceptional instances" did costs exceed WHO limits for spending on dinners -- $75 in Washington, $73 in Geneva.

Furthermore, he said, Feachem's office paid only once for champagne, a $115 bottle, and the duplicate payment for the rented suit was rectified.

"These expenses are reasonable and necessary for carrying out the business of the Global Fund," Liden said.

WHO 's investigation examined expenditures on Feachem's credit card, which "is intended for emergency use on Global Fund business."

Feachem told auditors he used the card for business expenses that WHO wouldn't cover, including limousines and meals. The report noted that the policy should be changed or the "card holders reminded of its limited purpose."

John Donnelly can be reached at donnelly@globe.com

(Correction: Because of a reporting error, a story on Monday's Nation page about spending by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria cited boat cruises and a $115 bottle of champagne among expenditures questioned in an inspector general's report. The report questioned a single cruise for Global Fund staff members and the purchase of sev- eral bottles of champagne for a total of $115, among other expenses.)

© Copyright 2007 Globe Newspaper Company.
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Old 06-22-2007, 02:28 PM   #2
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I'd like to knight him....
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Old 06-22-2007, 02:57 PM   #3
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Re: Global Fund article breaks my heart :(

Quote:
Originally posted by Jeannieco



Furthermore, he said, Feachem's office paid only once for champagne, a $115 bottle, and the duplicate payment for the rented suit was rectified.

"These expenses are reasonable and necessary for carrying out the business of the Global Fund," Liden said.

I think that bit above says it all. If these people think that a $115 bottle of champagne, or any bottle of champagne for that matters, is "reasonable and necessary for carrying out the business of the Global Fund", they are even more out of touch than we thought.

Don't they realize how much $115 is to someone who is living in extreme poverty? Don't they know how many nets, how many drugs, how much water that much money can buy?

This sickens me.
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Old 06-22-2007, 03:02 PM   #4
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^^^ I know, I don't want this to be true, it's so sad and sickening. How does he sleep at night?

Mother Theresa was standard to live up to.
She used to make people ashamed for having bottled water in meetings. She would ask how much was spent for water and snacks during meetings and then say, this is a disgrace!!The money could go to feed an entire village.

How right she was.

Where have all the Mother Theresa's gone?

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Old 06-22-2007, 03:15 PM   #5
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I am not totally defending this, but governments and ngos/nonprofits do sometimes have to spend a lot of money to make more. So if that $115 bottle of champagne brought in a donor who gave $2 million, it's worth it. Who knows if it did (or if that was the intention) but sometimes wining and dining is necessary. And I'm sure he knows his operating budget and how much $115 would do (or how much Red claims it will do, though you'd have to buy an awful lot of t-shirts to get there). He still might be out of touch though, just with proper priorities, not with the situation itself.

Also you'd be shocked at how much some of the heads of these orgs make - but to hire really talented people, especially ones who could easily get private sector management positions that pay 10 times as much, sometimes that is necessary too. Again not saying whether Feachem is one of these people or not, just speaking generally.
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Old 06-22-2007, 03:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Varitek
And I'm sure he knows his operating budget and how much $115 would do (or how much Red claims it will do, though you'd have to buy an awful lot of t-shirts to get there). He still might be out of touch though, just with proper priorities, not with the situation itself.
I think you're confusing product (red) with the Global Fund. (red) funds the GF, not the other way around.
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Old 06-22-2007, 03:18 PM   #7
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Sorry, but Mother Theresa wasn't all that perfect. In her belief, people born poor were poor because God wanted them to be poor.
She didn't want them to get out of poverty, because in her view it was intended so by God.
Not a standard to live up to, really.
Neither the bottles of champagne, nor any other of the expenses there can really be justified. You don't need to hire limousines that cost more than $300, nor do you need diners that cost around $70 per person.
The people responsible for these expenses, be it Feachem or whoever, should get into serious trouble. So many people are just waiting for such news to come to light it might get the fund into serious trouble about their integrity.

However, I don't think it would be smart to pull out of the fund at all, given that so much more money goes to where it belongs, and is needed in future.
They need to exercise a stricter control over who does what with the money.
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Old 06-22-2007, 03:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vincent Vega
Sorry, but Mother Theresa wasn't all that perfect. In her belief, people born poor were poor because God wanted them to be poor.
She didn't want them to get out of poverty, because in her view it was intended so by God.
Not a standard to live up to, really.
Neither the bottles of champagne, nor any other of the expenses there can really be justified. You don't need to hire limousines that cost more than $300, nor do you need diners that cost around $70 per person.
The people responsible for these expenses, be it Feachem or whoever, should get into serious trouble. So many people are just waiting for such news to come to light it might get the fund into serious trouble about their integrity.

However, I don't think it would be smart to pull out of the fund at all, given that so much more money goes to where it belongs, and is needed in future.
They need to exercise a stricter control over who does what with the money.

I disagree with you about Mother Theresa. Nobody said she was perfect, and who is by the way? But to say she wanted people to remain poor is a bit much. Isn't that saying she wanted them to suffer? I don't believe that at all.

And yes I agree there needs to be a watchdog, neutral party to oversee the spending. And the bit about spending money to attract donors, come on now. Since when do you have to appeal to people in such lavish ways for them to turn on the compassion?
That's a bit hypocritical. And Molly's right. The Global Fund does not fund the Red Campaign, it's visa versa
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Old 06-22-2007, 06:15 PM   #9
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Mother Teresa believed that everything was intended by God. You were born poor, so God intended you to be poor.
She didn't want them to be poor, as in she was happy about them suffering from poverty.
But she neither aimed to change this situation.

Well, it's a good point that sometimes to spend a bit of money might bring more money into. If that's the case it's not really great, but who cares.
Seriously, where is it hypocritical when you make $2 million (or wahtever sum) out of spending say $500 for a nice meal and glass of champagne?
That's rather an idealistic view. I'd say, take the money, it helps save lifes. We don't have the luxury to be nitpicking only because we deem something hypocritical, or it is against our idealistic views, when the result from this is thousand people dying.

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Bono, Die Zeit

Of course, best way is people donate because they really want to change something. But would you really turn down that money only because you say it's hypocritical?
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Old 06-22-2007, 07:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vincent Vega
Mother Teresa believed that everything was intended by God. You were born poor, so God intended you to be poor.
She didn't want them to be poor, as in she was happy about them suffering from poverty.
But she neither aimed to change this situation.
Quote:
Seriously, where is it hypocritical when you make $2 million (or wahtever sum) out of spending say $500 for a nice meal and glass of champagne?
That's rather an idealistic view. I'd say, take the money, it helps save lifes.



Re: Mother Theresa.
Totally disagree. She changed the immediate day to day situation in which these people found themselves; therefore she did aim to change the situation in a very practical immediate way. She did it by living with the poor, and by taking the vow of poverty. No red tape there, she just DID it.



What do you mean how is that hypocritical? Are you serious?

First of all that money was given to the GLOBAL FUND in good faith that they would spend and funnel it DIRECTLY to AFRICA for meds, ect.. not FOR LIMOS by fat cat Executives. You will never convince me that wining and dining "potential" donors is how my hard earned dollar should be used when I gave in GOOD FAITH and was told directly by Bono and Bobby Shriver on Larry King that it would be used to DIRECTLY help the needy in Africa.
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Old 06-22-2007, 07:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jeannieco
^^^ I know, I don't want this to be true, it's so sad and sickening. How does he sleep at night?

Mother Theresa was standard to live up to.
She used to make people ashamed for having bottled water in meetings. She would ask how much was spent for water and snacks during meetings and then say, this is a disgrace!!The money could go to feed an entire village.

How right she was.

Where have all the Mother Theresa's gone?

Check out The Missionary Position by Christopher Hitchens (written back when some would say he was still on the right side) he nails that "thieving Albanian dwarf" for what she was.
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Old 06-22-2007, 07:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Check out The Missionary Position by Christopher Hitchens (written back when some would say he was still on the right side) he nails that "thieving Albanian dwarf" for what she was.
I think Mother Teresa's biggest accomplishment was self promotion. She did it so well most people still don't believe she did it.
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Old 06-22-2007, 07:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Check out The Missionary Position by Christopher Hitchens (written back when some would say he was still on the right side) he nails that "thieving Albanian dwarf" for what she was.
I haven't and don't want to read that book, so give me a short answer, what is it that he says she was?

I'd agree that nobody's perfect, not even Mother Theresa, but that's beside the point of the OP. There's a difference between not being perfect and outright stealing (whether via misuse, etc) funds that are meant to help the planets neediest people.

My main point is that the leadership of the Global Fund, Feacham in particular, have clearly lost the way along with all sense of compassion and responsibility. Not only did he cause damage by misusing and *wasting* the money in the first place, but he just made it exponentially more difficult for the GF to continue to raise the funds they need. Now they have to surmount this massive wall of doubt in regards to how the money will be spent, along with all the other barriers and obstacles they already had.

I'm glad to know that he's already gone from his position as leader of the GF, and I hope they are able to find someone who is able to take the helm and do some major damage control while continuing to further the overall goals of the GF.
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Old 06-22-2007, 08:21 PM   #14
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On the basis on the information provided, I do not view the Global Fund as necessarily having done anything wrong.

Having said that my fundamental view towards the broader issue remains that we should refocus our efforts away from aid and towards free and fair trade.
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Old 06-22-2007, 08:26 PM   #15
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Goes at her theology of seeing Christ in the suffering of the poor, at the conditions of those under car in Calcutta and taking stolen money and not returning it. Overall it is polemical and vitriolic but points out how uncritically people are willing to accept a line that they want to believe without thinking.
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