Thursday, February 28, 2019

Billions in aid to Afghanistan wasted

Billions in aid to Afghanistan wasted, including money from Canada, U.S. agency finds - The Globe and Mail - Robert Fife and Michelle Zilio:

November 2, 2018 - "Billions of dollars in Western foreign aid to Afghanistan, including from Canada, has been lost to widespread waste, lax oversight and endemic corruption, a U.S. watchdog agency says.

"The U.S. Special Inspector-General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said in a report to Congress that aid money has gone to build medical clinics without electricity or water, schools without children and buildings that literally melted away in the rain. Also, corrupt local officials who were in charge of paying workers with some of the funds created what the audits called “ghost workers,” civilian bureaucrats, police and soldiers who did not exist, then kept or diverted money recorded as being paid to them."

“'There is a lot of corruption, [but] most of what we have identified are just head-smacking stupid programs and really poorly managed and no accountability. Nobody is really held accountable for wasting the money,' Special Inspector-General John Sopko said in an interview with The Globe and Mail.

"Unlike the United States, Canada does not independently audit the money it puts into Western trust funds for international aid. But Mr. Sopko said he is certain the problems he identified for U.S. taxpayers are the same for Canadian taxpayers.

"Nearly 2,400 U.S. soldiers have been killed fighting the Taliban, and 158 Canadians died before Canada pulled its combat troops out of Afghanistan in July, 2011. The Afghan government is still fighting intense battles across most of the country and millions of Afghans have been displaced.

"As the country became increasingly dangerous, Western countries pooled their aid dollars into trust funds managed by the World Bank, the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization....

"Mr. Sopko’s office found a troubling lack of financial oversight and far-reaching mismanagement of two Western trust funds – the World Bank’s Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund and the UN-administered Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan, used to train and equip Afghan security forces.

"According to the Library of Parliament, Canada has donated more than $3-billion in foreign aid to Afghanistan since 2002, including US$850.9-million, to the two funds. (Foreign aid money is delivered in U.S. dollars.)"

Read more:
'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment