Kenya: Global Fund Cash Taken From Amref, Given to Red Cross

16 September 2020

The transparency of the process through which money from the Global Fund is allocated is in doubt after Kenya's judging panel revoked an earlier award yesterday.

Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) has now been given the Sh14 billion HIV/Aids grant after it was taken away from Amref.

The KRCS now becomes Kenya principal recipient after appealing against Amref receiving the HIV grant, as well as money for Malaria and Tuberculosis.

The decision leaves Amref with Sh8 billion. The money in question is for taking care of more than 1.4 million people with HIV.

The turn of events came a day after Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said the government would take a "compromised position" to end the Global Fund standoff "so that Amref and Red Cross get something".

"We welcome the decision by the Kenya Coordinating Mechanism (KCM) to retain KRCS as its principal recipient for the HIV grant," Red Cross said in a statement.

Amref has written to Global Fund, expressing displeasure at the turn of events, saying it was a public procurement process where it participated and won.

The impasse blocked Kenya's use of the money from the Global Fund.

When Amref was awarded three tenders, including HIV which is the largest, KRCS appealed. Global Fund responded by cancelling the awards to Amref.

The agency then ordered Kenya's judging panel to repeat the process and give the results by Monday.

The panel is a 23-member authority made up of United Nations country offices such as the World Health Organisation, UN Development Programme and UNFPA.

"We are engaging KCM on the issue. KCM will provide a way forward," Amref Kenya Director Meshack Ndirangu told the Nation.

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