Helen Clark wants to run $5b aid fund

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Helen Clark leaves her current job in April. Photo / File

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark is in the running for another high-profile aid job based in Geneva, according to reports.

The New York Times has reported that Clark is on a three-person shortlist for director of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Clark is up against Nigeria's former Health Minister Muhammad Ali Pate and former pharmaceutical executive Subhanu Saxena, from India.

The United States, which is the main backer of the Global Fund, could be critical about the shortlisted candidates including Clark, the report said.

The Trump Administration has been hostile towards UN programmes and had threatened to cut funding. However, that hostility had mostly been aimed at the UN's cultural and peacekeeping operations, not Clark's development programme.

The Global Fund was formed in 2002 and Microsoft founder Bill Gates was among its first donors.

It is now the world's largest fund for AIDS, TB and malaria programmes and has distributed US$30b in aid since its formation.

Clark is looking for her next challenge after unsuccessfully running for the United Nations Secretary General position last year. She will step down as head of the UN's Development Programme (UNDP) in April.

A report on the candidates spoke highly of Clark, saying she was "a reformer, driving much greater organisational efficiency and a major decentralisation" at the UNDP.

The Global Fund was worth about US$5 billion ($6.9b) a year, the Times reported.

The director job becomes vacant on May 31.

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