Extraordinary Costs Consume Most of Australian Forces' Funding for Afghan Aid Programs

    Over the last four years, the Australian Defense Force has spent 215 million Australian dollars ($217 million) to support aid programs in Afghanistan. But only AU$37 million have actually been used for projects such as schools, hospitals, clinics and wells, according to figures revealed in an answer to a written question by Bob Brown, leader of the Australian Greens party, during the Senate estimates process.

    The rest of the AU$215 million has been used to cover “the net additional costs of ADF personnel, support and associated costs,” newspaper The Australian reports.

    Andrew Hewett, executive director of Oxfam Australia, said: “Obviously in a country like Afghanistan you’ve got to spend some money on security, and that’s not cheap, but the day-to-day cost of military-delivered assistance on a global basis tends to be more expensive than when it’s delivered through non-military means.”

    The report comes days after Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd concluded his three-day visit to Afghanistan. There, he met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai concerning plans for transition to an Afghan-led security by the end of 2014.

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    About the author

    • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

      As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.