War of words on US aid to Afghanistan

An employee stands next to a commemorative plaque at the Kajiki dam, which is part of the Kandahar Helmand Power Project financed jointly by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Afghan government. The U.S. aid agency is caught in several allegations of fund mismanagement and waste in the conflict-torn country. Photo by: Musadeq Sadeq / U.S. State Department

Several allegations of mismanagement and waste of U.S. aid in Afghanistan have made headlines lately. What has received less attention is how these reports have further strained an already fickle relationship between U.S. auditors, aid officials and implementing partners.

A recent shift in the types of audits conducted by the leading U.S. oversight agency in Afghanistan, its aggressive media tactics and questions about who should have the power to suspend government contractors are among the issues that have created friction in recent months.

Devex spoke with government officials, oversight experts and aid implementers about these tensions and how to ensure aid money is spent wisely in Afghanistan. Some of these sources declined to go on the record to avoid jeopardizing sensitive business relationships.

All of them were quick to point out their shared goal of seeing foreign aid is delivered efficiently and effectively to improve the lives of people around the world.

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About the author

  • Igoe michael 1

    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.