Cambodia’s fight against malaria is at risk of being derailed because of a dispute over expenses payments between the Cambodian government and the Global Fund, the biggest donor to the country’s malaria programme.
The row comes as the World Health Organisation (WHO) says that malaria cases in Cambodia have increased significantly in the last year.
According to a source close to the Global Fund in Cambodia, the Cambodian government is refusing to sign a funding agreement for a $12m grant, which could have been put to use since 1 July, because it objects to a requirement to account for travel and accommodation costs.
“The government has taken the grant-making process hostage,” the source said. “They have frustrated attempts to finalise grant negotiations because they don’t want to provide receipts for travel and hotel expenses.”
Millions of dollars are earmarked for travel and accommodation in the Global Fund grants to Cambodia. Government officials did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
The Cambodian government was previously made to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Global Fund after a former official was accused by the aid body of taking kick-backs.
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