Meet The Repo Man for Global Health: Skim Off a Grant, He’ll Make You Pay

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

If you’re a government official, you don’t want to get a call from Cees Klumper’s office.

Because there’s a good chance what you’ll hear is basically this: “Either you send us back the money that was misused in the past, or we’ll deduct double the amount from your future grants. It’s your choice.”

That’s the message Klumper says he routinely delivers to governments as well as to some companies and NGOs. He’s the “Chief Risk Officer” for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. But a better title might be repo man. The fund is one of the world’s biggest international donors to world health programs, giving out $4 billion a year to governments, for-profit companies and NGOs. Klumper’s charge: to recover tens of millions of dollars that corrupt officials at some of those entities have stolen over the years.

We were intrigued by this recent account in the Lancet and asked Klumper to tell us more.

How have these corrupt grant recipients tried to scam the Global Fund?

“Whenever you provide funding to people and ask them to do things there will always be some people looking for the opportunity to take some of that money for themselves,” cautions Klumper. “That’s not unique to developing countries. That’s the case everywhere from Mali to the country that I’m from, the Netherlands.”

Source: NPR (link opens in a new window)

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