Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Afghanistan aid wasted by the truckload

Chris in Paris, AmericaBlog.com: Ah yes, that pesky oversight issue again. When something happens once, well, things happen. When it occurs over and over and over, you have a trend. In this case, a trend of cynicism, corruption and failure.

Too much aid to Afghanistan is wasted -- soaked up in contractors' profits, spent on expensive expatriate consultants or squandered on small-scale, quick-fix projects, a leading British charity said on Tuesday.

Despite more than $15 billion of aid pumped into Afghanistan since U.S.-led and Afghan forces toppled the Taliban in 2001, many Afghans still suffer levels of poverty rarely seen outside sub-Saharan Africa.

"The development process has to date been too centralized, top-heavy and insufficient," said a report by Oxfam.

By far the biggest donor, the United States approved a further $6.4 billion in Afghan aid this year, but the funds are spent in ways that are "ineffective or inefficient," Oxfam said."

Ineffective" and "Inefficient" sums up the Bush and GOP years rather nicely. The old $500,000 per year fly-in "experts" always seem to deliver similar results overseas. I thought fly-by foreign aid was proven to be a bust years ago. Then again, the GOP managed to not hear about the financial policies of the 1920s either since they seem intent on repeating the same mistakes.

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