US aid may fund Afghan insurgents

2011-07-20 22:46

Washington - US aid money could be fuelling corruption and inadvertently bankrolling insurgents in Afghanistan because the United States is unable to closely track the funds, a government audit said on Wednesday.

The report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said the effect of massive US funding was jeopardised by a lack of financial controls as well as a deep reluctance by Afghan authorities to prosecute corruption cases.

"US agencies have taken steps to strengthen their oversight of US funds, but the United States still has limited visibility over how these funds flow through the Afghan economy, leaving these funds vulnerable to fraud or diversion to insurgents," said the audit.

The findings come amid growing frustration in Washington over the corruption-plagued Afghan government and steadily declining public support for the nearly 10-year-old war.

The audit reviewed oversight of US aid converted to cash, including electronic payments to contractors, and assessed American efforts to bolster the Kabul government's regulation of commercial banks and informal hawala financial networks.

The report said that "given the amount of US cash that flows through the Afghan economy, it is imperative that the US government have robust measures in place to ensure that these funds are not used for fraud or diverted to insurgent networks.

"However, we found that agencies have not instituted sufficient controls over US funds," it said.

Hawala networks

US agencies and Afghan banks do not record the serial numbers of cash handed out in Afghanistan to contractors, and US lead contractors are not prohibited from using unlicensed hawala networks to make payments, it said.

"As a result, the US risks inadvertently funding activities that directly oppose its reconstruction goals for Afghanistan."

The audit found the Afghan government had stalled or refused to take action to stem corruption despite US assistance and advice, with the attorney general's office only following up on four of 21 leads in corruption cases.

In May, Afghan President Hamid Karzai barred advisers from the US Treasury Department to work at the country's central bank while negotiations with the International Monetary Fund were under way, the report said, citing Treasury officials.

"Subsequently, he [Karzai] decided that US government advisers were no longer welcome at DAB [central bank]", it said.

The US embassy had no plans to try to resume work with the central bank and Treasury officials described the central bank as "hostile" to American advisers, it said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    us  |  afghanistan  |  aid
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.