Kabul: The US government’s watchdog for Afghanistan reconstruction said Thursday that lawmakers need to consider whether too many U.S. aid dollars are ending up in the right hands.
The report to Congress by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, is an update for lawmakers on rebuilding and aid efforts following the U.S. withdrawal in 2021.
The SIGAR report urges Congress to contemplate one main question: Can the United States keep sending billions to the country without considering it is getting to the intended recipients?
“As the largest donor to the Afghan people, the United States remains deeply engaged in Afghanistan,” the report states, noting the United States has made more than $8 billion in assistance available to Afghan citizens and refugees since American armed forces withdrew 18 months ago.
The watchdog said in its report Thursday that it also expects to issue its “High Risk List” in the coming weeks that will identify important risks in continuing to send funds to Afghanistan.
Though the U.S. military is no longer in Afghanistan, Biden and Congress have continued to authorize humanitarian aid to the country. Thursday’s report underscored concerns that some of the money may be used in other than announced proposes in the form of ‘licenses,’ ‘taxes,’ and ‘administrative fees’ imposed on NGOs and their employees as a condition for operating in Afghanistan,” the report states.
According to the U.N. 28.3 million Afghans are depending on international food assistance this winter, and also, according SIGAR report the Afghan economy hasn’t entirely stabilized yet, but it’s deteriorating at a slower pace.