US links Afghan aid to good governance
WASHINGTON (PAN): The United States on Tuesday asserted an increase in the percentage of its aid routed through the Afghan government would depend on the progress in anti-corruption measures, transparency and governance.
“We have continued to evaluate what the appropriate percentage is. We've made a pledge that about 50 percent ought to go through the Afghan government, but this has been tied to our expectation that the Afghan government will in turn meet the commitments that it made at the Tokyo meeting,” the State Department spokesperson said.
Victoria Nuland, addressing her daily news conference, was referring to Kabul’s promises earlier last year with regard to continued progress on corruption, transparency and accountability.
“So that's a conversation that we'll have with President Karzai when he's here and probably also at the White House,” Nuland said.
“Historically our economic support for Afghanistan has been channeled in a number of directions. Some of it goes to government of Afghanistan for distribution through its various programs that it manages.
“Some of it goes through NGOs and local governments, et cetera. So it's been a mixed program,” she said. For the last several years, the Karzai government has been demanding the US should route all its aid through it and not through the NGOs or contractors.
“We are constantly reviewing the effectiveness of the program with the Afghan government, with our folks on the ground, with local leaders, to refine it. One of the things that the Afghan government has wanted for some time is for more of the US government assistance to go into federal government-administered programs,” she said.
Nuland said while Afghanistan had made remarkable progress in last 10 years, considerable challenges remained in political, security and economic fields..
Obviously, like all transitioning democracies, Afghanistan was facing a huge number of challenges, she noted. “There are security challenges; there are political challenges; there are economic challenges…”
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