Monday, November 3, 2008

A Trio of Aid Scandals in the News

There has been a trio of aid scandals in the news the past few days:

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria accuses Robert Mugabe's government of diverting $7.3 million in money meant to fight disease in Zimbabwe.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Michigan says several hundred thousand dollars is missing from its programs in southern Africa and is now suspending operations there, pending an investigation and restructuring by former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa James A. Joseph.

The bribery trial of a former Costa Rican president begins today. Rafael Ángel Calderón Fournier (1990-1994) and eight others are accused of taking bribes as a part of a $39.5 million Finnish deal to sell medical equipment to the Costa Rican health services. For an English language summary of the Costa Rican scandal, click here.

I'm told the scandal first came to light after reporters from the Costa Rican daily newspaper La Nacion noticed one of the key players was living way above the modest means his government salary would normally afford.

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