Analysis: Raising the Stakes for Afghanistan
Council on Foreign Relations
June 9, 2008
Author: Greg Bruno
For Afghanistan, the stakes are high: Foreign assistance makes up the bulk of Afghanistan's public spending—90 percent by some estimates. Since 2001, an estimated $25 billion in humanitarian aid has been pledged, with the U.S. accounting for roughly one-third of that. An April 2008 report from the Congressional Research Service, however, notes that while the United States has spent roughly $140 billion on the Afghan mission since 2001, only about $11 billion has been allocated for foreign aid and diplomatic operations (PDF). Nor have pledges kept pace with delivery. The humanitarian group Oxfam International estimates that only about $15 billion of the money promised has been paid (PDF), and roughly 40 percent of that has ultimately been returned to donor countries in the form of "corporate profits and consultant salaries."
To be sure, Afghanistan is a vastly different country (PDF) today than it was just seven years ago. Roads have been built, schools erected, and access to basic health care dramatically expanded nationwide.
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