Larry Sampler on USAID in Afghanistan

    Creating and maintaining a new government in such a challenging environment as Afghanistan comes with certain tradeoffs for U.S. aid.

    That’s why the U.S. Agency for International Development has been compelled to permit some “degradation of pure effectiveness” that comes with host government capacity building in the push for “localization,” Assistant Administrator Larry Sampler said in an exclusive interview with Devex.

    USAID has come under fire for providing direct assistance to the Afghan government, despite the agency’s own findings of considerable weaknesses within several departments. Sampler admitted they “pushed back” against ministries that failed to implemented necessary oversight reforms.

    So what’s in store for USAID’s offices there and in Pakistan as the U.S. military drawdown continues in 2014?

    Sampler admitted that, for the time being, he is not comfortable using the words “normal” and “Afghanistan” in the same sentence — but they are working nonetheless to draw the country into a more productive long-term economic relationship with its neighbors.

    Click on the above video for the full interview with the USAID Assistant Administrator, available now for the first time after the three partial clips already published since last week, which you can watch below:

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    About the author

    • Michael Igoe

      Michael Igoe is a Senior Reporter with Devex, based in Washington, D.C. He covers U.S. foreign aid, global health, climate change, and development finance. Prior to joining Devex, Michael researched water management and climate change adaptation in post-Soviet Central Asia, where he also wrote for EurasiaNet. Michael earned his bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College, where he majored in Russian, and his master’s degree from the University of Montana, where he studied international conservation and development.