Afghanistan aid delivery shortfall a security risk
An international agency's report says 40 percent of aid destined for Afghans is spent on overhead costs.
(Page 2 of 3)
ACBAR includes international humanitarian agencies such as Oxfam, Christian Aid, CARE, Islamic Relief, and Save the Children, Bloomberg reports. The group says too much aid from rich countries "is wasted, ineffective, or uncoordinated." Between 2002 and 2008, the US, the largest donor to Afghanistan, has distributed half of its $10.4 billion commitment, the report claims, while the EU and Germany delivered about two-thirds of their commitment of $1.7 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively.Skip to next paragraph
Israeli general hints at another Gaza campaign
Unclaimed attack on Islamic school raises tension in Nigeria
See no evil? Activists doubt credibility of Arab League mission to Syria.
Arab League observers head to Syria's war-ravaged Homs
Christmas church bombings put global spotlight on 'Nigerian Taliban' (VIDEO)
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
The report is one of several recent studies that have identified inefficiencies in aid delivery to Afghanistan, says The New York Times. In response, the UN Security Council recently invested greater coordination authority in its mission to Afghanistan. The report highlights the waste in US government contracting, using an airport road in Kabul as an example, the Times reports. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) spent more than $3 million a mile to build the road, four times what ACBAR estimates as the average cost of road-building in Afghanistan.
[USAID] does not finance development through the government but works through profitmaking contractors who often subcontract the work to other companies. "Vast sums of aid are lost in the corporate profits of contractors and subcontractors, which can be as high as 50 percent on a single contract," the report said.
The use of foreign consultants is also costly, at $250,000 to $500,000 a year for each, because of high salaries, generous living allowances and security expenses.
A USAID official told the Associated Press that the US government is "on track to provide to Afghanistan that it pledged." Acting deputy administrator Jim Kunder said he understood the concerns over the pace of reconstruction projects but said the report didn't take into account that cash earmarked for projects isn't identified as spent until completion.
USAID said it had pledged $25.8 billion, and of that $17.4 billion has been spent or is in the pipeline. Kunder said the money has gone to a broad variety of projects, including "supporting the national elections, constructing roads, reducing infant mortality by 22 percent, putting more than four million Afghan children in schools."