Several Republican representatives are requesting the Interior Department continue to withhold international conservation grants until it can implement oversight measures after reports that a major international animal aid group supported by the U.S. is responsible for several human rights abuses.The GOP lawmakers told the Interior Department in a Wednesday letter to Secretary David Bernhardt that “further scrutiny is warranted” in the department’s review of grants, specifically to “high-risk areas” to prevent the U.S. from funding organizations that participate in human rights violations and prevent taxpayers from funding human rights abuses. The department reported it was withholding millions in grants in a September letter.ADVERTISEMENTThe letter comes in response to staggering reports released in March that local guards and rangers working with the World Wide Fund of Nature (WWF) in Asia and Africa allegedly took part in abusing the indigenous communities near their stations through rape, torture and murder. A BuzzFeed News investigation from March found that the U.S. gave WWF about $157 million in the last 15 years, including about $10 million for “armed guards, rangers and enforcement.” WWF has also announced that it launched an investigation into the allegations.“We strongly recommend that you continue to withhold specifically identified high risk grant funds until the… Read full this story
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