Over the course of 2011, the Geneva-based Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria experienced unprecedented adversity. Media accounts and internal reports drew attention to instances of corruption involving grantees: $34 million of probable fraud in four African countries triggered a suspension of assistance by Germany and two other European donors. External reviews detailed the Fund’s deficient managerial practices, weak oversight of investments, and ineffectual board governance. An alarming, $2-billion-plus financial shortfall, revealed suddenly at year’s end, reflected a worsening global economy, overly optimistic forecasting by the Fund secretariat, and flagging donor trust and confidence in the Fund itself.
Many of the world’s women are moving closer to gender equality, but substantial gaps remain between men and women in health, education and, particularly, political and economic participation in a number of countries, including some of the most developed, according to a new global report.
Measuring against 2010 rankings, for example, the Sixth Annual World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2011 found that New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom showed slight declines in their overall gender equality rankings, while Brazil, Ethiopia, Qatar, Tanzania and Turkey posted gains.
A major new health workers index by Save the Children has ranked the best and worst countries for a child to fall sick in — with Chad and Somalia at the bottom and Switzerland and Finland at the top.
The index measures not only how many health workers there are, but also their reach and impact.
It shows that children living in the bottom 20 countries — which fall below the WHO minimum threshold of just over two health workers for every thousand people – are five times more likely to die than those further up the index.
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