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Questions raised over USAID funding to Afghanistan

Jan. 31, 2014 at 11:32 AM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- The State Department said it disagrees with the notion that Afghan development funds from the U.S. government were misused by the country.

The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction published a 107-page report Thursday on U.S. development aid to Afghanistan.

The U.S. State Department issued a statement saying it disagreed with the way in which the report was interpreted.

"We disagree with the impression left by the SIGAR audit report ... that [U.S. government] funds are being subjected to unnecessary risk in Afghanistan because of the deficiencies identified in the Afghan ministries," the State Department said.

The SIGAR report said development aid was directed to Afghan ministries even though some of those ministries don't have the means to manage the funds properly.

SIGAR said the U.S. Agency for International Development has taken steps to safeguard financial assistance, but the agency didn't conduct the mandated control reviews in certain cases.

"SIGAR found that USAID [in] Afghanistan has only required the ministries to implement 24 of the 333 recommended risk mitigation measures prior to receiving funds," the report read.

SIGAR said USAID indicated it complied already with some of its recommendations to mitigate risk, though the inspector general said it "disagrees with USAID's assertion."

There was no statement from USAID on in the SIGAR report.

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