US Asked to Explain USD40M Unreleased Cuba Funds

Aid groups and several legislators are asking the Obama administration to explain why it is not disbursing the USD40 million allocated for pro-democracy efforts in Cuba, the Miami Herald reports. The U.S. Agency for International Development has yet to seek proposals for the USD20 million aid for Cuba democracy efforts in fiscal years 2009 and 2010. Nine Republican congressmen are accusing the White House of freezing the funds to appease the Cuban government.

The Obama administration explained that it is carefully reviewing the program to ensure efficiency and better oversight, according to Miami Herald.

“It’s not unusual to have a careful look, not when you want to make sure the programs adhere with the overall policy direction of the new administration,” the newspaper quoted Ricardo Zuniga, deputy director of USAID’s Office of Cuban Affairs.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.

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