Pakistan will be accountable for each penny of aid, President Obama
Obama administration sought to reassure that it would demand maximum accountability from Pakistan for $7.5 billion in aid and that it had safeguards to ensure funds did not reach extremists in any case.
In a report sent by the State Department to congressional committees, the administration outlined its priorities for the aid, including water, agriculture, educational and electricity projects, and laid out a strategy to prevent corruption and misuse of the money. The Secretary of State will suspend any government to government assistance to any implementing agency if there is credible evidence of misuse of funds by such agency.
President Barack Obama has called Pakistan the epicenter of violence, a region seen as critical to US efforts to fight the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan. The aid is one of the tools being used by Obama to fight extremism that threatens to destabilize the region. The report was mandated by Congress after the $7.5 billion, five-year aid plan passed into law in October. So far, appropriations committees have agreed on nearly $1.5 billion for the first year. In a shift from previous practice, much of the aid will be channeled via national and provincial governments in Pakistan as well as domestic groups, instead of the usual US based humanitarian organizations and contractors.
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