HIV group in Ghana committed sexual abuse – Exclusive-Global Fund

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Late Friday, the Global Fund said in an investigation into the group it funds, that directors of a Ghanaian organization supporting people living with HIV and AIDS demanded sexual practices and money in exchange for benefits.

The 18-page report, “Misconduct Affecting Global Fund Grants,” details how representatives of the Ghana Network of People with HIV (NAP +) “abuse their positions of power and promote a culture of sexual and financial exploitation.”

The claims or results have not been previously announced.

“Many executives in the NAP + demand that program members engage in sexual behavior or provide financial bribes in order to gain access to the events and benefits supported by grant money, which constitute corrupt and coercive practices,” the report said.

“The Global Fund’s governance policy framework in relation to protection from sexual exploitation, abuse, and sexual harassment (SEAH) is inadequate,” she added.

Global Fund Executive Director Peter Sands said in a speech released on Friday that he was “deeply disturbed” by the results and that the behavior was “abhorrent”.

He added that the fund has absolutely zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, adding that further measures are planned to prevent, detect and respond to these incidents.

NAP + Ghana, which has indirectly received grants from the Global Fund via other partners, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The report said that the group did not respond to its findings, but participated in a comment on the investigation from the organization’s advisory board.

The board said in a statement that all but one of the accused executives denied the allegations, and that it believed executives should have the right to question the accused.

The Global Fund is a group of governments, civil society, and private sector partners that invest nearly $ 4 billion annually to combat infectious diseases.

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Fund investigators said the violations, which were first reported internally in July 2019, occurred between 2010 and 2019 and related to activities related to Global Fund grants.

Nine program participants reported experiencing sexual exploitation and / or abuse by NAP + executives, according to investigations by the Fund along with Ghana Police, who interviewed 43 witnesses.

The United States is the fund’s largest donor and has contributed $ 17.6 billion to date, according to the fund’s website. Other major donors include Great Britain, France and Canada.

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