Following reports of corruption, the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan has terminated $20 million in funding for to develop a Pakistani version of Sesame Street, according to the Associated Press, citing a report in Pakistan Today.
The USAID money was funding the Rafi Peer Theater Workshop, a local group working on the program with Sesame Workshop. Embassy spokesman Robert Raines confirmed that the funding was terminated but declined to provide details.
Pakistan Today, citing unnamed sources close to the project, said “lack of proper planning, mismanagement and financial irregularities have all been rampant throughout the project, leading to an initial delay of a year and a half and finally the suspension of aid.”
Rafi Peer has denied the allegations, and said the U.S. government ended its participation after providing $10 million due to lack of funds.
UPDATE: Sesame Workshop provided this statement to Current.
“Sesame Workshop will continue to work to improve the lives and futures of children in Pakistan and elsewhere around the world.”