Top of the Morning: GAVI Suspends Sierra Leone Funding; India’s $2 Billion Misstep

Top stories from DAWNS Digest.

GAVI Suspends Funding to Sierra Leone Over Misuse

The Gates-backed Global Alliance for Vaccinations and Immunizations is halting $6 million in payments..”The leaked letter from the GAVI Alliance dated Nov. 15 2012 and addressed to Sierra Leone’s health minister says an in-depth audit revealed ‘serious concerns of misuse of GAVI funds’ totalling $1,099,640. The GAVI Alliance, which aims to improve access to immunisation in the world’s poorest countries, was launched in 2000 with a $750 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It has disbursed more than $27 million to Sierra Leone’s government since 2001. Sierra Leone’s acting Health Minister Tamba Borbor-Sawyer denied the GAVI letter was proof of foul play.” (AlertNet

India’s $2 Billion Failure Costs Lives

A harrowing story of a food aid program gone terribly awry. “India’s only government program to nourish as many as 160 million children under six has failed those from Kaushambhi district in the state of Uttar Pradesh, and tens of millions of others around the country. The billions India budgets for feeding children — 4.4 cents for each per day — have barely dented one of the world’s highest rates of child malnutrition. Instead, the program has allowed a web of private firms to take over distribution, in defiance of orders from the Supreme Court of India.” (Bloomberg