|Ecuador shuns suspicious USAID
Ecuador announced it was freezing cooperation with USAID, after charging last year the US agency was meddling in domestic affairs.
Quito's international cooperation office in late November informed the US Agency for International Development that it will not be able “to carry out any new activity, nor extend timeframes for completion of [current] projects,'' the Ecuadoran office said in a statement.
The halt will stretch “until our governments have negotiated and signed a new framework agreement,'' the Ecuadoran office added.
The US embassy said it had tried for two years to reach a deal that would allow USAID to keep working in Ecuador. USAID spent some US$32 million a year since 2007 on projects in Ecuador.
President Rafael Correa's leftist government has limited the work of international NGOs, citing concerns they might destabilize this OPEC member state.
In June 2012, Correa threatened to kick USAID out of Ecuador, charging it had funded opposition groups, and meddled in domestic politics.
The United States is Ecuador's top trade partner.--AFP