Message from the UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic

19 Dec 2011

In the last few days some of the Kyrgyz non-governmental organizations have been spreading distorted information about UNDP’s activities in the area of assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic to fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria through media and various mailing lists over the Internet.

Information is presented in a distorted form, is not constructive and does not contain any credible evidence. At the same time important achievements of the three grants, which are successfully implemented by UNDP are completely ignored.

UNDP considers the information distributed by certain non-governmental organizations as groundless attempts to discredit the work being done and denies all allegations contained in the information.

In this regard, UNDP Representation in the Kyrgyz Republic considers it necessary to inform of the following.

UNDP became the principal recipient of the Global Fund grants based on the decision of the Country Coordinating Committee (comprised of representatives of government and non-government organizations of the Kyrgyz Republic) to mandate UNDP to execute all current and future grants from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in August 2010. This decision was supported by the Global Fund. Agreements related to the grants of 2011 were signed: on malaria and tuberculosis on February 8, 2011, and on AIDS – in October 2011.

Decision to change the principal recipient of the grants to UNDP was preceded by events that took place in Kyrgyzstan in April and June 2010, and the announcement of preliminary findings of the Inspector General of the Global Fund, which contained a negative assessment of implementation of grants by previous principal recipients.

Since 2011, UNDP has successfully implemented grants for malaria and tuberculosis, which were rated A2 and B1, respectively, which is a high grade in accordance with the international classification.

Grant agreement on HIV was signed on October 14, 2011, but the funds arrived in the country only on December 14, 2011. The delay was caused by long negotiations on the terms of the grant and financial difficulties faced by the Global Fund in late 2011. It should also be noted that absence of a quorum at meetings of the Country Coordination Committee for approval of documents also delayed the negotiations for another five weeks.

Despite these problems with the start of the grant to fight HIV/AIDS, UNDP has taken the financial risk, and, in the absence of funding from donors, has used its own funds to prevent the interruption of antiretroviral therapy and methadone.

In 2011 UNDP using its own funds purchased antiretroviral drugs worth $158,000, which helped prevent disruption of treatment of about 500 HIV-positive patients; National Center of Narcology received methadone powder for continuing methadone therapy of 1000 patients; staff of 20 points of methadone therapy received salaries for 5 months (August - December 2011). 2 months stock of syringes and condoms for syringe exchange centers have been purchased and delivered to the country urgently. Moreover, UNDP also completed tenders to purchase 25 autoclaves for the Ministry of Healthcare, 6 professional refrigerators for AIDS Center (for storage of test kits); a tender was organized to supply the annual needs of all types of test kits for HIV, including tests for viral load, CD4 and other tests for screening and monitoring of HIV infection. The process of purchasing of a 10-month supply of condoms and syringes, wipes, lubricants, containers for syringes, medicines to treat sexually transmitted diseases, portable device for determining the level of cells CD4 is under way.

In December 2011 special events were organized for children living with HIV and their parents, during which more than 250 people have received food parcels in the city of Bishkek and Osh.

Based on an open competition UNDP selected a group of professionals to manage the three grants. The work of the GF grants management team allowed to select the most competitive prices for medical products and pharmaceuticals.

The Procurement Division of the Global Fund highly appreciated the work on procurement of drugs to treat HIV infection prices for which were 2 to 5 times lower than the prices for similar products purchased by the previous principal recipient. Medical supplies purchased by UNDP within grants for tuberculosis and malaria, have shown a similar difference in prices compared with similar purchases, done by the previous principal recipient.

According to the rules and procedures of UNDP, all proposed potential sub-recipients under the HIV grant underwent independent financial and programmatic audit. An action plan on removing deficiencies identified earlier was developed and evaluation of the price / quality ratio of services provided by these organizations was carried out; the report was sent to the UNDP Procurement Office in Copenhagen.

UNDP, as the principal recipient, implements grants in accordance with internationally recognized internal rules and procedures, as well as with consideration of the price / quality ratio for the good of the country in which we operate.

On November 15, 2011, UNDP received a request from a non-governmental organization for reimbursement for meals in seven social institutions for injecting drug users in the amount of $9,377 (for the period of September-November 2011). Additionally, the amount to be reimbursed for December 2011 totaled $5,952. Since distribution of food packages was noted in the draft report of the Inspector General of the Global Fund as one of the areas of financial irregularities, UNDP initiated a one-time visit to five out of seven institutions to monitor the financial reliability of this request, as well as monitor functioning of these institutions. In all institutions, according to clients, in the period from September to December 2011 food was provided by clients themselves or their relatives. Some institutions provided documents, authenticity of which were questioned. Thus the claim for reimbursement of the non-governmental organization was denied on the grounds of lack of documents supporting the purchase of products on for clients.

UNDP have initiated a coordination meeting of donors that funded harm reduction programmes in the period of absence of the funds from the Global Fund. During the meeting it became apparent that five out of eight syringe exchange points based on an NGO and the NGOs headquarters were financed in full or partly by other donors. The same NGO sent to UNDP bills for rent of premises amounting to $11,230 without indication that these agencies are funded by other donors as well. For this reason, and due to inadequate quality of the documents confirming the fact of rent, bills were rejected.

However, syringe exchange points based in correctional facilities and healthcare offices of the healthcare system which continued to work in the absence of funding, will receive compensation for their work in case of provision and approval of their reports.

Attempts to discredit the work of UNDP by a small group of NGOs make us regret and are unproductive. Moreover, some of the organizations that are making statements were mentioned as organizations with high financial risk in the draft report of the Inspector-General of the Global Fund, which was distributed among members of the Country Coordination Committee in June 2011 for their comments.

Given the above, UNDP can not take such risks and will strictly follow its internal policies and procedures, as well as provisions of the grant agreements.

UNDP works closely with governments, civil society and non-governmental organizations who are our valued partners worldwide, as well as in Kyrgyzstan.

UNDP is ready to cooperate with non-governmental organizations that have transparent accounting and reporting, and are willing to work in accordance with the rules and procedures of UNDP and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Global Fund entrusted UNDP management of a large amount of grant funding for projects assisting the Kyrgyz Republic in such important areas as fight against HIV / AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in a difficult situation. This imposes on us the responsibility for achieving planned results of the programme, for management based on transparent and reliable reporting procedures.

United Nations Development Programme is always interested in cooperation with government institutions and civil society, and, if necessary, ready to discuss with national partners, all issues related to assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic.

Contact Information

Akjol Joroev (a.joroev@gf.undp.kg; +996-312-300777 ext. 127)