Is American foreign aid going to the wrong places? 5 questionable recipients of your tax money
Annually, the U.S. allocates over $51 billion in economic aid and military assistance. $25 billion comes from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), while the Department of Defense and Department of State are close behind. Over 20 percent of this aid is divided among four countries: Israel, Jordan, Afghanistan, and Egypt. While well intentioned, corruption, failing infrastructure, or even cultural misunderstandings can mean that U.S. aid causes more harm than good.
1. The Taliban
The US has pledged an additional $55 million in aid to Afghanistan. Over the past fiscal year, this totals to over $1 billion to humanitarian, economic, and military assistance aid to Afghanistan. Foreign aid always comes with criticism, but especially so when the recipient is an enemy of the US and a corrupt, extremist and repressive regime. In Afghanistan, the case against foreign aid has always been corruption. After the Soviet invasion, U.S. funding was used by rival Mujahideen to wage a civil war. Then, the U.S. government and military was manipulated into draining their own pockets after 9/11. Rival tribes and warlords used American ignorance to gain access to an endless flow of money. With this they were able to fight each another for power over the war torn country even long after the fall of the Taliban. Now, humanitarian aid to the Afghan people is lining the pockets of the Taliban at the expense of innocent Afghans and American taxpayers alike.
The Taliban’s “Monitoring and Control Plan of NGOs” provides them with oversight and control of movements and work of various NGOs, including the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and the World Food Program. The Afghan people are desperately in need of this aid to ensure access to basic food and water, education, and health services. However, this Taliban program requires Afghan citizens and foreign NGOs to submit to the Taliban’s brutal rule in order to ensure they receive the necessary aid to survive. The U.S. cannot ensure that its humanitarian funding is being used as it was intended. More than likely, it’s only bolstering the Taliban’s repressive regime.