Aid to Panama:

Status of Emergency Assistance to Revitalize the Economy

NSIAD-91-168: Published: Apr 8, 1991. Publicly Released: Apr 17, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the status of Agency for International Development (AID) funded programs and projects in Panama.

GAO found that: (1) as of February 28, 1991, AID obligated $377.5 million of the $420 million appropriated for assistance to Panama; (2) of that amount, AID obligated $351.8 million for cash transfers under economic recovery and private sector reactivation programs and $25.7 million for development projects and operating expenses; (3) of the $77.9 million AID dispersed, the Panamanian government and AID spent only $41.8 million; (4) reasons for the slow disbursement of funds included the Panamanian government's failure to meet grant agreements, weakened demand for private-sector loans, and undeveloped AID programs; (5) despite the slow infusion of U.S. assistance into the Panamanian economy, its economy grew by 3.4 percent during 1990; and (6) almost all economic sectors, except transportation and government services, experienced increases from the previous year's levels, although the economic output of all sectors except agriculture and domestic services remained below that of 1987.