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Afghans fear losing aid pledges to corruption

25 Nov 2020 - 16:17
25 Nov 2020 - 16:17

GARDIZ (Pajhwok): The Afghans say they are pleased with international community’s financial pledges in the Geneva conference, but stress on spending of the aid in needed areas.

The International Community renewed its long-term commitment to the Afghan people, pledging billions of dollars in aid to their country in Geneva on Tuesday.

The total assistance which amounts to $13 billion is for a period of next four years and is conditions-based.

However, a number of residents in southeastern Paktia province say they are worried the funds may be lost to corruption and the assistance should be spent only on economic and development projects.

Omaid Delawar, a writer and analyst, said despite huge amount of assistance from the international community to Afghanistan during the past two decades, around half of the country’s population still suffered from poverty.

He said the main cause of poverty was rampant corruption in the government administration.

“If corruption is not curbed, this assistance would also be not much helpful, only a few people strengthen their businesses on the money under different excuses,” he added.

A civil society activist, Sayedullah Khawrin, criticized administrative corruption and said the government should accelerate fighting the menace.

“Many senior government officials are involved in corruption, this should be stopped so the distance between the public and the government is shortened,” he added.

Najibullah Totakhel, an economy lecturer in Paktia University, said that current opportunities should be taken advantage of and the country’s financial organs should be reformed so that Afghanistan no longer needed foreign aid.

“If our customs collect 80 percent of revenue and our resources are properly managed, we can launch sustainable economic projects and become independent economically,” he added.

The concerns are raised as government officials have repeatedly claimed that fighting corruption is their priority.

A few days back, President Ashraf Ghani created a high commission on corruption.

mds/ma

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