Foreign Assistance: Measures to Prevent Inadvertent Payments to Terrorists under Palestinian Aid Programs Have Been Strengthened, but Some Weaknesses Remain, Report to Congressional Committees   [open pdf - 689KB]

"The U.S. government is one of the largest donors to Palestinians. It provided nearly $575 million in assistance in fiscal year 2008. This assistance is provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and through contributions to international organizations, primarily the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The Department of State (State) oversees U.S. contributions to UNRWA. To help ensure that U.S. funds for these programs are not provided to individuals or entities engaged in terrorist activities, USAID and State must comply with restrictions under U.S. law. GAO was asked to assess the extent to which USAID has complied with its antiterrorism policies and procedures and assess State's and UNRWA's policies and procedures to support conformance with U.S. statutory conditions. GAO reviewed U.S. and UNRWA documents; interviewed USAID, State, and UNRWA officials; and conducted fieldwork in Israel, Jerusalem, and Jordan. To strengthen compliance, GAO recommends that the Administrator of USAID improve monitoring of subawards. GAO also recommends that the Secretary of State consider taking additional steps to oversee UNRWA's conformance with U.S. conditions on funding. USAID, State, and UNRWA said they are taking actions to implement GAO's recommendations."

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