If you’ve ever wondered if US aid to other countries is used the way it’s intended to be used, wonder no further. It seems that once the money has been handed over that it’s anyone’s guess who gets it and what it’s really used for. A good example is the millions of dollars sent to help health programs in Afghanistan.
In a recent report by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), millions of US dollars intended for Afghan health programs are not being used for their intended purposes. The report focuses on 55 deficiencies that were found in reviews of where and how the funds were used. Until those deficiencies have been adequately accounted for, USAID officials are recommending that no additional funding be made.
A key play is the Partnership Contracts for Health, an USAID program designed to provide medical aid and treatment in 13 Afghan provinces. The program has been funded to the tune of $236 million for salaries, medical equipment, prenatal exams and immunizations, among other medical care. The SIGAR report implied that monies were being wasted on conferences and meetings. $47 million was spent just in preparations but none was spent on actual field projects. Another $34 million was spent to build a military facility in Afghanistan for the Marine Corps, but Marine officials say that the facility was not needed and will most likely never be used by them.
USAID officials in Afghanistan are denying all of the charges, but that’s expected. When is the last time you’ve heard any government employee or official admit that they have been wasting, and fraudulently using taxpayer dollars?