DECEMBER 9, 2022
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U.S. Officials Reassure Lawmakers on Aid Oversight in Afghanistan

U.S. Officials Reassure Lawmakers on Aid Oversight in Afghanistan

U.S. officials' assurances on rigorous aid monitoring in Afghanistan face heightened skepticism as allegations emerge that aid funds predominantly benefit the Taliban. Critics argue that a controversial deal in Doha, orchestrated by Zalmay Khalilzad, has led to a situation where U.S. taxpayer dollars are allegedly being misused. Representative Michael McCaul contends that the Taliban is exploiting aid resources, creating concerns about potential corruption.

Now U.S. officials overseeing aid to Afghanistan addressed concerns from lawmakers, assuring them that stringent monitoring measures are in place to prevent funds from benefiting the Taliban. Michael Schiffer, Assistant Administrator at the Bureau for Asia, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), emphasized the agency's vigilance against any attempts to divert assistance and highlighted their commitment to high standards for implementing partners. This comes in response to the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) expressing questions about $3.5 billion in funds controlled by the Afghan Fund.

Despite assurances, concerns persist, with Representative Michael McCaul stating that the Taliban is increasingly benefitting from U.S. taxpayer dollars, alleging theft from NGOs and embedding Taliban officials within U.N. agencies. An estimated 23.7 million people in Afghanistan require humanitarian assistance in 2024. The U.S. State Department, USAID, and SIGAR continue to collaborate on aid oversight, with 30 outstanding requests for information regarding aid disbursement in Afghanistan.

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