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IWA hails govt’s anti-graft efforts as effective

IWA hails govt’s anti-graft efforts as effective

author avatar
30 Jun 2018 - 20:34
IWA hails govt’s anti-graft efforts as effective
author avatar
30 Jun 2018 - 20:34

KABUL (IWA) on Monday talked about how most of the international aid to Afghanistan was misused, but admitted the Afghan government has now developed ‘effective anti-corruption programs’.

However, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has said most of the US aid in Afghanistan has been used properly.

SIGAR also says Afghanistan, though going in a good direction, still faces a two-headed dragon of terrorism and corruption.

Sayed Akram Afzali, head of IWA, told a conference ‘Promoting culture of integrity in Afghanistan’ here, said: “Billions of US dollars were given to Afghanistan in aid over the last 17 years but unfortunately nothing was made out of it.”

“Insecurity, unconstructed roads, air pollution and many other problems still persist and most of the aid money has gone to personal pockets,” he added.

He said government officials awarded major projects to corrupt figures and did not monitor their quality.

 “We want the international community to help recover the stolen money, we all know where the money went and the international community also knows it. We hope the money will be recovered and corrupt and mafia figures be brought to justice,” Afzali added.

“Corrupt figures have become a strong mafia and have endangered the system, the international community should not bring pressure on the government alone.”

Afzali continued: “We have seen many amazing and strange things, one day an institute was ordering anti-corruption efforts and the other day another institute brought money in plastic bags to the Presidential Palace, we don’t know what this means, is the international community serious in fighting corruption in Afghanistan.”

He said enough coordination and honesty was needed among the government, civil society and the international community for combatting corruption.

However, Afzali acknowledged the government had now developed effective anti-corruption programs and appointed some trustworthy figures in the relevant areas. “These figures need to be supported.”

The conference, aimed at promoting the culture of integrity and fighting corruption in government departments, was organized for government officials, civil society and NGOs.

Public Works Minister Yama Yari, who attended the conference, stressed the need for promotion of trustworthiness and eradication of corruption in government organs and said the roots of corruption were deep and inherited from previous governments. “But the current administration is committed to fighting the phenomenon decisively.”

The minister said two international companies that belonged to Turkey and the US took some money of the Qaisar-Laman road project and the ministry had complained it to international court.

“The SIGAR report on this project mentions corruption but it almost ignores the complaint the ministry has made against the two companies,” he said.

SIGAR John F. Sopko said many good developments areas of anti-corruption, freedom of speech and others had been made in Afghanistan over the past 17 years.

But he said: “Despite good achievements, Afghanistan is faced with a two-headed dragon of terrorism and administrative corruption.”

He said Afghanistan was going in a good direction and had rich natural resources through which the country could be rescued from economic crisis if rightly used.

“The US is one of Afghanistan’s friends that donated $126 billion to this country only in reconstruction area over the last 17 years”, he said.

Sopko said most of the aid was used properly for improving the situation of Afghans.

European Union deputy head of delegation to Afghanistan, George Cunningham who attended the conference, said all Afghans should cooperate with their government in eradicating corruption. He stressed on continued EU cooperation with Afghanistan.

mds/ma

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