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Ministry of Finance regrets loss of US aid

Ministry of Finance regrets loss of US aid

Sep 24, 2019 - 12:11

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Afghanistaninfo-icon, acknowledging that corruption remains a strategic threat to the success of development plans, has sought global assistance in improving its public financial management systems.

The US cut back $160 million worth of aid to Afghanistan, accusing the Kabul government of rampant corruption. The move came less than 10 days ahead of the presidential election.

Faulting graft and malfeasance, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, Washington was sending about $100 million back to US coffers that was earmarked for a large Afghan energy infrastructure project.

In Kabul, the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday: “We seek the support of the international community to further improve our public financial management systems.”

In a statement, the ministry said it was unfortunate that $100 million had been lost due to delays in project implementation and lack of capacity in the previous DABS management.

It recalled the decision on the withdrawal of the USD 100 million was made in February 2018 and the Ministry of Finance and DABS were informed about the non-availability of the amount.

“Indeed, the specific project this amount has been withdrawn from is an off-budget project. The government has been working closely with the State Department and USAIDinfo-icon … for years on improving capacities and transparency and efficiency mechanisms for successful implementation of development projects.”

The ministry said Kabul was aggressively increased oversight of large-scale infrastructure projects envisioned in the national budget and through international funding to improve implementation timelines and hold accountable the parties responsible for delays and mismanagement.

Of the 13 public finance-related reform benchmarks under the Incentive Program, the MoF claimed achieving over 70 percent of the indicators.

“For the remaining benchmarks, we report good progress and remain on track to claim the USD 60 million withheld funds by mid-November 2019.”


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