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Papua New Guinea officials step down to give Humanitarians more power to prevent illness

A recent decision by Papua New Guinea officials to step down as the principal recipient (PR) of money from the Global fund to help fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, will further improve its involvement, according to IRIN.

"We actually had to step down because we need a principal recipient that can effectively manage the funds and report back to Global Fund," Leo Sora Makita, principal technical adviser for malaria and vector-borne disease for the National Department of Health (NDOH), told IRIN.

The decision was made after a Global Fund audit found the NDOH had not been following the grant requirements, leaving approximately $7 million dollars used improperly.
Although it was reported that the $50 million in aid would be stopped until government officials stepped down, Marcela Rojo, spokeswoman for the Global Fund, told the news source, "In general, when changes of PRs occur in countries, there are certain delays and disruptions in program implementation. However, life-saving treatment is never affected."

As 90 percent of the country's six million people are currently at risk of getting malaria, the need for Humanitarian involvement is crucial. According to Rotarians Against Malaria, approximately 1.2 million residents are killed by the disease each year. As there was a 26 percent decrease in cases from 2004 to 2009, it makes the recent step-down that much more important to the country's well-being.
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