Thursday, November 8, 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.
    Former Canadian diplomat David Mulroney, who was the deputy minister in charge of overseeing all aspects of Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan, said Ottawa was under heavy pressure from the UN and Europe to cut big cheques to the two funds. In effect, he said, Canada contracted out its management responsibility for spending taxpayers’ money in a country “devastated by three decades of war, and with a system of governance more medieval than modern.”

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