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SIGAR: US Not Have Proper Understanding of Afghan Social Relations

The United States Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) says US financial assistance has encouraged corruption in Afghanistan in some cases.

The United States Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) says US financial assistance has encouraged corruption in Afghanistan in some cases.

According to SIGAR report, the methods of providing aids to Afghanistan made coordination between the various departments of the United States more complicated, and the implicit tolerance of corruption in Afghanistan and the “unintentional” support of the United States from the corrupt officials of Afghanistan’s government, led Afghans to less support the private sector development programs.

Based on this report which focused on the development of the private sector and Afghanistan’s economic growth, the United States could not understand the relationship between corrupt and powerful people in the country’s society.
The efforts to expand the private sector in Afghanistan have not been consistent with the country’s economic and security realities, the capacity of government offices, Kabul ties with its neighbors, and the corruption in the country, said the report.

According to SIGAR, Afghanistan’s economic growth boosted in the first years after the fall of the Taliban, largely due to the launch of reconstruction programs and the high consumption of money by foreign countries, that is why the economic growth rate did not sustain.

Meanwhile, according to the World Bank statistics, Afghanistan’s economic growth has fluctuated since 2003. Afghanistan’s economic growth reached 21 percent in 2009 while the figure decreased by 2.3 percent in 2016.
The report also criticized the experts and foreign specialist in Afghanistan.
Technical experts who worked at high levels of reconstruction programs were in many cases unaware of Afghanistan’s conditions or even have not had knowledge and experience in post-war and developing countries.

SIGAR criticized the transition process of Afghanistan’s economic system to the market’s economy, saying that this process was implemented at a fast pace and in the absence of accountable institutions without the influence of “corrupt powers.”

The Special Inspector General John Sopko emphasized on strengthening and development the private sector in Afghanistan.
“The development of the private sector could reduce Afghanistan’s dependence on international assistance,” Mr Sopko underlined.

SIGAR suggested the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department should help the Afghan government to review all regional and bilateral trade agreements with Pakistan in particular, and remove barriers to Afghanistan’s exports and imports. It called on America to continue its effort in fighting the corruption in Afghanistan in order to develop the private sectors. The watchdog asked the USAID to cooperate with Afghan institutions, such as universities, research centers, and trade unions, and provide technical cooperation and training in accordance with the requirements and conditions of Afghanistan’s community.

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