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American Fund to Support Afghan People Likely Being Stolen by Taliban – HotAir

Roughly a year ago, the federal government established a fund intended to aid the civilian population of Afghanistan following Joe Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from the country and the subsequent takeover by the Taliban. More than $3.5 billion was placed in the fund, transferred from frozen assets previously controlled by the Afghan government. It seemed like a productive and charitable way to handle the money at the time. But now, more than a year later, a government watchdog group has discovered that none of the money has been distributed to aid the people of Afghanistan and there are no safeguards in place to prevent the Taliban from taking the money for themselves. To put it mildly, this is no way to run an airline. (Free Beacon)

More than a year since its creation, a U.S.-backed fund to support the Afghan people has not made a single disbursement and lacks safeguards to prevent the $3.5 billion investment from being stolen by the Taliban government, according to a government watchdog.

The Afghan Fund was created more than a year ago by a Biden administration order that allowed more than $3.5 billion in funds previously held by Afghanistan’s central bank to be moved into a charitable account tasked with aiding the war-torn country’s ailing population.

Since that time, “the Fund has made no disbursements for activities intended to benefit the Afghan people” and currently has no “specific controls in place to ensure funds are not diverted to or misused by the Taliban,” according to a report published earlier this week by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), which monitors American aid to the country.

When the fund was originally established, the Treasury Department claimed that there were “robust safeguards” in place to ensure that the money wouldn’t wind up in the Taliban’s coffers. Now the story has changed, with the Treasury saying that such safeguards are (or were) “in development.” It appears that the development process didn’t work out very well.

They could have been disbursing the money all along, but the Taliban has been very aggressive in seizing any cash that comes into the country. No method was identified to get the money into the hands of the needy without the kinder, gentler Taliban taking it from them. The Taliban do not provide any normal governmental services to the people of the country, most likely because they are a terror organization. That was never their mission. Hence, the people of Afghanistan remain on the brink of starvation, and paying work is nearly impossible to find in the country.

The money originally came from the Central Bank of Afghanistan. But it can’t be transferred back there either because three of the current members of the bank’s board of directors are longstanding, highly-placed Taliban members. One of the board members appointed by the United States has already been accused of having a conflict of interest and another had been fired from a previous position for lying about his credentials.

Everything about this situation appears to be a complete mess and the people of Afghanistan are the ones paying the price. Of course, everything about the way we pulled our military out of the country was a disaster, so why would we expect the banking situation to turn out any differently? Many international aid groups are still unwilling or unable to provide help to the Afghan people. The few who do report that they are frequently charged illegitimate and outrageous “fees” by the Taliban to be allowed to do their work. Food and medical supplies that do make it into the country are frequently diverted or simply stolen by Taliban fighters. Afghanistan was already something of a mess before we left, but it’s far worse now. I still agree that ending the war and getting out of the country was the right thing to do once Osama bin Laden was dead, but it needed to be planned and organized much better than this. A lot of the responsibility for the deplorable state the country finds itself in rests on America’s shoulders.

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