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Afghanistan to need ‘billions in foreign aid,’ warns SIGAR

AT Monitoring Desk

KABUL: A US agency warned on Friday that Afghanistan will need vast amounts of foreign funding to keep its government afloat through 2024. International money pays for roughly 75 percent of all of Afghanistan’s costs, while government revenue covers barely a quarter of Afghan public expenditures.

The warning comes as foreign donors become increasingly angry over the cost of corruption and the US seeks a peace deal with the Taliban to withdraw its troops from the country. The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), which issues reports quarterly to US Congress, monitors all US spending relating to the 18-year war in Afghanistan.

According to the SIGAR report for the last quarter of 2019, international donors, led by Washington, provide the Afghan government with $8.5 billion annually to cover everything from security to education and health care. The US is paying $4.2 billion yearly just for Afghanistan’s security and defense forces.

SIGAR also said that “enemy-initiated attacks” rose sharply last year, with the fourth quarter seeing a total of 8,204 attacks – up from 6,974 during the same period in 2018.

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