Partners in Crime: National Theft of Global Fund Medicines

Africa Fighting Malaria Briefing Paper

11 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2013

See all articles by Roger Bate

Roger Bate

American Enterprise Institute (AEI)

Date Written: April 20, 2011


Millions of dollars of donated antimalarial drugs have been stolen, most often by staff of recipient government medical stores; this strengthens criminal gangs and undermines donor intent. The main culprit donor is the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, which worryingly is pushing ahead with further schemes that have the same inherent weaknesses, which may worsen the theft problem. Sweden and Germany have already suspended funding to the Global Fund due to financial irregularities, but it is time for a thorough investigation of drug theft - to ensure that drugs are being used by those intended, rather than encouraging illegal parallel distribution systems, in both recipient nations and nations where products are diverted. It is likely that the entire incentive system needs to change, so that donors only receive future taxpayer funds when they can show that the drugs they buy actually reach intended patients in developing nations, not just reach their governments’ medical stores.

Suggested Citation

Bate, Roger, Partners in Crime: National Theft of Global Fund Medicines (April 20, 2011). Africa Fighting Malaria Briefing Paper, Available at SSRN: or

Roger Bate (Contact Author)

American Enterprise Institute (AEI) ( email )

1150 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
United States

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