The United States is working to unclog a funding bottleneck that has delayed payment for expenses in coalition forces’ anti-terror operations in Pakistan, U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke said March 2.
Holbrooke, a special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said the U.S. government last week released some USD349 million out of the roughly USD2 billlion Congress-approved Coalition Support Funds to cover operational expenses in Pakistan, including repayment of costs to the Pakistani government for troop support.
“We are still working through the rest of the money,” Holbrooke said in a briefing in Washington. “Not all the money that is asked for comes in. About 60-65 percent of it gets reimbursed.”
Pakistan officials had complained of delays in U.S. funding for coalition forces, describing it as political “arm twisting.” The Pakistani government had reportedly cut funding by up to 45 percent to prioritized defense and coalition support.
Holbrooke admitted that complicated U.S. accounting procedures were causing delays but said the State Department has sent an audit team to Pakistan to fix the problem.