Major Risks: Audits Find Afghan Govt Can’t Be Trusted With Aid

Audits So Bad Officials Tried to Keep Them Being Made Public

A new report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) is offering some of the first looks at three years worth of audits of Afghan management of the aid provided by USAID.

Anyone whose paid even cursory attention to Afghanistan’s legendary level of corruption could expect the audits were bad, but they turned out to be so bad that USAID officials tried to keep SIGAR from disclosing them for years,

The report detailed 107 “major risks” to providing aid money directly to the Afghan government, mostly critical and mostly centering around how millions of dollars in cash have a nasty tendency of disappearing in Afghanistan.

SIGAR issued a secondary report at the same time about the Salang Hospital in Parwan Province, a rural, US-built facility that cost over half a million dollars, and which was not built to standard. The hospital, which has neither clean running water nor electricity, is operating “more as a medical clinic than as a hospital” as it was supposed to. The report detailed that the lack of water meant staff would bathe patients in untreated water drawn from a nearby river.

The US has thrown billions of dollars in aid at Afghanistan during the occupation, but between fraud by officials, fraud by contracts, and ill-conceived planning, the plans have accomplished very little, leaving the nation with crumbling roads and infrastructure, and a lot of recently constructed buildings that are of no use.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.