Updated 3:30 pm EASTERN
Dr. Michel Kazatchkine – executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – announced Tuesday that he will be resigning from his post in mid-March.
A statement from Kazatchkine posted today on The Global Fund website explains Kazatchine’s decision was motivated by the appointment of a managing director to the Fund, Columbian banker Gabriel Jaramillo.
“I respect this decision and trust that it was made in the best interests of the Global Fund,” Kazatchkine said in his statement. “I have reflected long and hard on the implications of this decision for me and for the organization. While I remain fully committed to the Global Fund and its mission, I have concluded that I should not continue as Executive Director in these circumstances.”
The Global Fund Board of Trustees was presented with a dismal “revised resource forecast” at a meeting in November in Accra, Ghana, which prompted them cancel the 11th round of grant-funding and to put a hold on issuing new grants until 2014. At the same meeting, according to French news outlet Le Monde, the Global Fund Board and certain countries, including the U.S., were pushing for Kazatchine’s departure.
In place of Round 11 the Board created a transitional funding mechanism to ensure that all currently funded programs would receive ongoing support, preventing interruption of treatment or other essential services, even if they are set to expire in the 2011-2014 time-frame. As general manager Jaramillo will oversee the implementation of the transformation plan, and he is set to begin his one-year appointment on February 1.
“The Global Fund as we know it today, the millions of lives it has saved, and the many other successes and innovations with which the Fund is associated, all bear Michel’s imprint,” said Global Fund Board Chair Simon Bland in his own statement. “Most importantly, his unwavering commitment to health, to human rights and to supporting the weakest and the unprotected, has helped shape the Global Fund into the beacon of hope it is today for tens of millions of people around the world.”
Kazatchine, a physician-researcher and global health expert who has served HIV/AIDS patients for 25 years, has held this Global Fund post since April 2007 and worked in other capacities for the organization since 2001.