U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) worked in Afghanistan from July 2008 through June 2015 under the Obama administration. The work there included supporting 30 Afghan health facilities. They spend nearly $260 million through the Partnership Contracts for Health Program.
The logic seems sounds, in a country at war; we can help by providing health care. Unfortunately, it seems that USAID is not accomplishing their tasks.
On the website, the USAID claims that during the current administration, “The Agency began rebuilding with an eye to getting the most bang out of its funding allocations.” This must be code for, “We will take millions to build hospitals and lose them,” because this is exactly what the group has done.
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko wrote to the agency, stating, “One Afghanistan hospital funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development was located more than 430 miles away from the listed coordinates, while another 11 facilities were more than six miles away.”
The letter elaborated, “SIGAR sought to conduct site inspections at 30 of 79 facilities in Badakhshan” – an Afghan province – but “was unable to locate one facility. SIGAR found substantial inaccuracies in the geospatial coordinates USAID previously provided for many of these 29 health facilities and observed that not all facilities had access to electricity and drinking water.”
Sopko went on to say that only 12 of the inspected facilities were located near the coordinates USAID provided. This means that only about 15% of the hospitals were in the places they were supposed to be.
In some cases, the coordinates given were not even in the correct country, “coordinates for 22 of the 79 facilities were not located in the districts listed in the most recent information available to USAID. Coordinates for two health facilities were located in Pakistan; Afghanistan’s neighboring country to the southeast.”
One health facility was actually listed as being in the Mediterranean Sea by USAID. Others were miles from the reported coordinates, “four were more than six miles away from their listed coordinates, and another three were between three and six miles away. Another six facilities were between just over a half mile and three miles away, while nine were actually located within about a half mile of their listed location.”
It seems as though this has been an ongoing problem for USAID. “As SIGAR has stressed previously, robust program oversight requires specific knowledge of the location where the service is provided,” Sopko wrote to USAID Administrator Gayle Smith.
A USAID official reported that it would not bother correcting the problem, “The agency no longer maintains location data and “obtaining it would require a specialized request to the Afghan government, which USAID was unwilling to make.”
Sopko countered this statement, ““USAID’s position regarding its monitoring responsibilities is troubling. [W]e encourage USAID to request and maintain this information, in order to help ensure that funding spent to improve the health of specific populations is actually reaching the intended communities.”
It would seem necessary for someone to step in and stop the funding to this program until it starts reporting correctly. Sopko emphasized the importance of this when he stated, “Maintaining accurate GPS data would help the USAID conduct site visits and help ensure that the intended communities receive needed health services.”
Instead of taking a closer look at what is really happening, the agency will go on funding health centers, providing another $228 million for the facilities. In turn, the United States will keep funding USAID. The bizarre circle of corruption will continue.
USAID has clearly stated their intentions going forward, USAID “does not intend to maintain coordinates.” They will instead rely on the World Bank and the Afghan government who are now handling the facilities.
Given this set of facts, the U.S. needs to withdraw its funding of the agency. Obama and liberals shown no signs that this will happen though.
The facilities that SIGAR Sopko was able to inspect were in poor condition. “[W]e did observe some basic structural concerns at most of the facilities, such as cracked walls, leaking roofs, broken doors, and shattered windows,” which “indicate clear concerns with sanitation and safety.” Inspectors also found “exposed wiring. Electrical deficiencies, such as exposed live wires, pose serious hazards that could endanger the safety of patients and staff.”
This brings a chilling image of what kind of care the patients might be receiving. Liberals are not concerned that millions are disappearing into a bottomless pit.
Millions have gone to fund clinics that are either misplaced or in such disrepair that they should be closed. Millions more will be given before this funding runs out.
Why is nobody in Washington asking questions?
The answers will leave the White House with Obama. His dirty hands are all over this one as he stands in front of the American public and claims he is concerned, that the government is helping innocent citizens in the war torn country of Afghanistan.
As usual, this is all lies. A more likely scenario, given what we know now, is that he needed a reason to funnel money into the country and the facade of “health clinics” was believable at the time.
No more money should be sent to any program that Obama has started overseas. His close ties to terrorists should raise red flags for every American.
President Trump needs to undo all of these “projects” so that we no longer operate maliciously, negligently, or in a corrupt manner.