The staggering amount of funds donated to Afghanistan during 13 years by United States confused many after it was unveiled by US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). Based on its latest report, the country received $104 billion in financial assistance in the past 13 years, a billion more than the entire financial aid made for the reconstruction of Western Europe after Second World War. From the total amount of $104.1 billion in Afghanistan, 62 billion was allocated for structuring the army and the police forces and $7.6 billion was allocated to counter-narcotic initiatives.
This happens in such a situation when Pentagon inspector general warns of declining oversight of the US aid to Afghanistan after troop pullout. Over the years after the ouster of the Taliban some 13 years back Afghanistan has received the largest and liberal sum of international aid nevertheless the most parts of the country still remains in ruins where there is no vista of development and change.
Change could be seen only in major cities but they too are hit by a new economic and social evil—the poor and rich standoff—where the poor are becoming the poorest and the rich are becoming the richest.
Mismanagement is said be to the biggest factor behind this alleged misappropriation of the funds, but is there is any international or national body that could launch a thorough and honest investigation into this matter as how to reclaim the misused aid. This is not out of possibility that most of the money that has come in the name of reconstruction and aid has been stashed back into foreign accounts. Because of this mismanagement this troubled country has lost major economic opportunities. Had this money been used properly and fairly Afghanistan would have reached the same degree of stability as our neighboring countries have reached.
If the amount was given directly to each individual—assuming the total population 30 million— then each resident would have received $3466! With such amount of money Afghans not only could rebuild their country but would have reconstructed another country.
No body ignores the achievements made during last 13 years. But even if such staggering sum of money handed to a child, he/she would have brought the present changes. Presently around half of the population in big cities sleeps with empty stomachs in the night. Daily thousands of people stand in each corner of the city dazing around so that someone comes and hires them as daily workers. The economic situation is in such a pathetic condition that despite shortage of human resources in the country there are Afghans with bachelor and even master degrees looking for jobs.
All signs show the situation will further deteriorate. NGOs will pull out because donors have restricted their funds. NGOs and INGOs have been one of the key job creators. Not only thousands of people were directly recruited by these organizations but also people who worked there used to build new house or buy property which put the economic market recycle and generate further jobs. Now many of them are fired and spend what they collected during years of working with no revenue.
Thus, the question is not with mismanagement because that is a minor factor in comparison to snatching and stealing of foreign financial support. Huge amount of them were stolen and taken back to safe bank accounts in other countries. If the situation moves on the right track and they bring back their cash and invest inside the country, we will observe economic growth in the future.