Broke Again, Afghan Govt Seeks Donors ‘Bailout’

Doctors Haven't Been Paid in Months, Officials Say

A $170 million bailout provided to Afghanistan in September didn’t go very far, and President Ashraf Ghani’s government is once again pressing the usual donor nations for emergency funds, claiming they don’t have the money to pay salaries this month.

What’s unclear, however, is how many people were getting their salaries in the first place. Despite officials presenting the budget problem as something new, doctors in Kabul have been protesting for awhile, saying they haven’t been getting their salaries in several months.

It had been assumed that the election of President Ghani would lead to some quick reforms which could be used to justify a new bailout, but Ghani still hasn’t even formed his cabinet, so it’s not clear what policy reforms might be coming.

At any rate, the problem of Afghan insolvency isn’t going anywhere, as even with large amounts of aid they already get annually, the government is running a deficit somewhere in the 25% range, and is constantly pressing the occupying forces for new bailouts.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.