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US warns withdrawal will leave Afghanistan in economic crisis

Afghanistan is so dependent on foreign aid that it could face an economic crisis when the West ends its military intervention in the country in 2014, a United States Senate report warned yesterday, criticising the way the US had sunk billions into unsustainable projects in the shattered country.

Minister denies international aid priority claims

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell has rejected claims that the Government is putting Britain's security concerns ahead of aid priorities by trimming the number of countries which will receive assistance from the UK.

£2m of aid money was used to fund Pope's visit

Nearly £2 million intended to be spent helping development in the world's poorest countries was diverted to pay for the Pope's visit to Britain. The Department for International Development gave £1.85m to the Foreign Office to help to pay for the costs of Pope Benedict's visit to England and Scotland last September.