CEOL - US Confirms Investigation Into Missing Kosovo Aid Money

WASHINGTON, Dec 2, 1999 -- (AFP) The United States on Wednesday confirmed reports that it was investigating the disappearance of up to $1 million in aid destined for Kosovo.

State Department spokesman James Rubin said that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) was looking into allegations that a contractor employed by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a U.S.-based non-governmental organization, mishandled the money.

USAID "immediately turned the issue over to its inspector general who is currently investigating this particular question," Rubin said, declining any further comment.

Earlier Wednesday reports surfaced in Belgrade that USAID was investigating the disappearance of between $800,000 and $1 million in aid money that had disappeared.

Rubin would not specify the amount involved but said he "would not have a heart attack" if the $800,000 -to $1 million figure was reported.

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