Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Schoolhouse Construction in Afghanistan - Lacking Oversight

Schoolhouse in MeS - photo SIGAR Jan 14
A schoolhouse being built in Afghanistan has turned into a glaring example of how an aid project can go wrong in Afghanistan. The school has turned into a money pit - the project lasting five years and a number of contractors. The school still is yet completed with USAID in search of yet another contractor to finish the job and correct the deficiencies. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) recently published a report on this project. Unfortunately, the example in this report is not the exception but probably the rule. USAID has had some big problems in oversight of its projects. Corruption in Afghanistan is rampart and we have not seen the return we should have on the many billions of dollars pumped into Afghanistan - whether military aid or reconstruction dollars. Read a recent news article on the school in Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan entitled "5 years and 3 contractors later, Afghanistan school still deemed unsafe", Fox News, January 22, 2014. Read the SIGAR report.

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