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Humanitarian Aid And Corruption In Afghanistan

1381 words - 6 pages

Afghanistan, home to a population of roughly 30 million, has undergone some very harsh conditions. In a place that has witnessed horrific incidents due to Taliban invasions, constant warfare, and violence, Afghanistan may seem hopeless. People, particularly women and children, have been deprived of an education, and basic rights. As a result, there was a great plunge in the economy. Now, Afghanistan continues to struggle with the ruins of its land. Countries have teamed together and started to deliver aid in hopes to restore Afghanistan. The U.S. alone has sent over an estimated $100 billion in aid since 2002 (Seigel 1). However the essential question is: Is it worth it? Is it worth sending billions of dollars to a government that does not know how one-third of humanitarian aid has been spent since 2001 (Waldman 5)? Is it worth sending money when it has been confirmed that $1 billion of the $8 billion donated in the past year has been lost to corruption (Labelle 1)? Because of corruption, the United States should lower the amount of aid donated to Afghanistan and prevent waste and abuse. However, there is a possible downside to lowering aid distribution. On the contrary, if the U.S. reduces aid drastically decreases, Afghanistan may become dependent on the Taliban once again. Initially, the Taliban rose to power because they used the vulnerability of Afghanistan to their advantage after Afghanistan was invaded by the Soviet Union. Afghanistan could go through a relapse and another Taliban Era if aid is no longer given. If the Taliban take control of Afghanistan again, which is very likely since the government already has Taliban officials, Afghanistan will suffer greatly and surrounding countries may also be threatened. Despite how much money is lost to corruption, the aid provided at least keeps Afghanistan from possible Taliban rule. First and foremost, interventions are insufficient due to the low level of literacy in Afghanistan’s population. Humanitarian aid is spread through the use of camps. The beneficiaries rely solely on camp officials for information and humanitarian aid; however, these camp officials themselves hoard the aid. Consequently, agencies tried intervening on the amount of corruption going on by distributing pamphlets to the beneficiaries that showed the amount of aid that they should be receiving. Agencies also placed boxes for beneficiaries to report corruption; these attempts were futile. According to the National Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (NRVA), the national adult literacy rate for ages 15 and older is 26 percent (12 percent for women and 39 percent for men). In fact, over an estimated 93 percent of women and 65 percent of men lack basic reading and writing skills (Haidari 2). If less than 6% of women, the main victims of corruption, possess basic reading and writing skills, how can the issue of corruption and waste come to an...

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