I am writing on behalf of Kimirina Corporation, the civil society principal recipient named in the recent OIG audit of Ecuador (see article here).
Kimirina has worked with the Global Fund since 2009, on a Round 9 HIV grant seeking to help lift barriers to access to services for all people in Ecuador.
We consider that the audit demonstrates inaccuracies and decontextualized conclusions about our performance under the grant. We are concerned that the portrayal of our organization could damage our relationships with national groups and undermine our commitment to getting the maximum benefit from the resources the Global Fund gives for the communities most vulnerable to infection.
The audit by the inspector general's office lacked an expertise in public health, which did not allow a full understanding of our role in managing civil society partners under the grant. The OIG report refers only to the extent of coverage of peer educators, and fails to acknowledge some of the other innovations in prevention that we undertook to complement our work that was supported by the Global Fund grant.
We also take issue with the audit's conclusions about the risks involved in health services and products, that "Kimirina had not been able to buy the quantities of condoms and lubricants required". This conclusion does not take into account the complicated process undertaken to purchase these products, and ignores the assumptions set out in the Plan of Acquisition Management and Medical Supplies (GAS Plan) approved by the Global Fund and endorsed by the purchasing agent, UNFPA.
We reiterate our concern of a decontextualized report that was made with several erroneous data and inaccurate remarks. We consider corrections have to be made and a correction to adequately express the situation of the findings of OIG against the performance of the Kimirina Corporation, and would like to encourage these clarifications to be amended to the OIG.
We stand by our work on this project and reiterate our commitment to working on behalf of vulnerable populations in Ecuador.
Amira Herdoiza is the executive director of Kimirina Corporation. The views expressed in this letter are Kimirina's alone and publication by Aidspan does not imply endorsement.