WASHINGTON (PAN): As Hamid Karzai sworn in for a second term as Afghan president, the Obama administration said it had put in place a strict monitoring and verification process for the delivery of aid to the government in


While hoping the new Karzai administration would take effective action to curb corruption and provide good governance, the US issued a note of caution the various Afghan government agencies would not be given aid if they did not adhere to strict guidelines.

"We have set up some, on our own end, some of our own monitoring and verification mechanisms to ensure that our aid is going to the right people, is meeting our goals for Afghanistan," a State Department spokesman told reporters at his daily news conference.

Ian Kelly said: "We have a very robust monitoring procedure in place. We're conducting a review of all the recipients on the side of the Afghan government for our aid to ensure that they're using the aid in a proper way."

He warned: "If these agencies and ministries don't if we're not able to certify them as having open and accountable procedures, they simply won't receive the direct aid."

The spokesman said the administration welcomed the statement of Karzai on his agenda for the next five years.

"They have already taken some steps to try and institutionalise the fight against corruption. And so we see it we saw that speech as something hopeful in terms of setting out a new way forward for the new government. But as they do go forward, we'll be looking to see the government actually implement and follow through on some of these steps that he outlined," Kelly said.

Hailing the pledge as a new chapter in Afghan-US relationship and a renewed partnership, he said Karzai recognised they had their own responsibilities to be open and transparent, "and we recognise that we have our own responsibilities to our own taxpayers, to our own people, but also to US national interests to ensure that that our aid programme meets our goals."

Kelly added the administration was in the process of going ministry by ministry to certify that they had proper accounting procedures in place to receive aid directly.  It would not only improve transparency, but also ensure they had the capacity to receive US aid, he observed. 

"We're also dramatically increasing the number of officers from the US Agency for International Development who can get out into the field and actually see how the aid is being delivered. So we have some mechanisms already in place, but we're also looking to increase our own capacity to monitor the aid," Kelly concluded.




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