USAID’s Office of Inspector General provides oversight of a wide variety of global health activities, including efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Ensuring the integrity of USAlD’s procurement and management of global health supplies is a priority for us. Our agents have identified and dismantled syndicates in Africa that steal, transport, and resell commodities provided by the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative, such as bed nets and antimalaria pharmaceuticals. To combat this type of fraud, we stood up cash-for-tips hotlines in several African countries and provide fraud awareness briefings and training. By working with USAlD missions, State Department offices, local law enforcement, and international organizations, we have made numerous arrests and seizures of stolen and counterfeit commodities.
We also highlighted opportunities for USAID to strengthen its response to future health emergencies. For example, developing a policy framework—with processes and procedures for assessing needs, overseeing awards, deploying staff, managing inventory, monitoring response, and capturing lessons learned—would better position USAID to quickly launch a coordinated response. Based on our recommendations, USAID began establishing a new policy and readiness unit to test procedures and ensure the synchronization of all Agency efforts during a humanitarian or health emergency.