Guinea Coup Begets USAID Funding Freeze

The U.S. Agency for International Development's 2009 funding for economic growth and environment initiatives is likely to get the axe after the U.S. announced that it is suspending aid to Guinea. The move came after a military junta seized control of the government following the death of President Lansana Conte in December 2008.

USAID Guinea Mission Director Clifford Brown told Devex Early Intelligence that the specifics of the suspension is still being worked out but it will affect both current and 2009 funding.

Brown said that the agency will continue to disburse funds for health, education, and food aid. Most programs for governance and civil society will also push through but the implementation of some activities will be disengaged from the central government.

Coup leader Capt Moussa Dadis Camara vowed to hold elections within a year but this was apparently not enough to ease the ire of the international community. Both the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States have suspended Guinea from their ranks. The European Union also denounced the military takeover.

In its official statement, the army leadership pledged to fight corruption, restore government authority, and provide basic services. One wonders though if this West African country will be able to hold its own amidst the barrage of international condemnation that its current leadership is getting.

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