Thursday, April 01, 2010

Aiding the War in Afghanistan

So Prince Charles arrived in Afghanistan to raise the troops morale.Shortly followed by Obama to cheer up the American soldiers.

Despite that we read $35bn (£23bn) of aid between 2002 and 2009.
"Poverty actually kills more Afghans than those who die as a direct result of the armed conflict," Norah Niland, Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Afghanistan said.

"Poverty is neither accidental, nor inevitable; it is both a cause and a consequence of a massive human rights deficit," the UN report said.

Afghanistan had the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world, which means that 25,000 women die each year because of complications associated with pregnancy.

Further, only 23 per cent of Afghans have access to safe drinking water.

A new U.N. survey shows Afghanistan is not only the world's top opium producer, but it has become the top global producer of hashish.Farmers can earn nearly three times as much money growing cannabis than wheat: about $3,900 per hectare compared with $1,200per hectare.The report says it is an almost ideal crop for desperately poor farmers, who lack fertilizers and tractors and who need every penny they can squeeze from their land.

Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief and OXFAM have prepared a report to highlight the shortcomings in aid effectiveness in Afghanistan.The average volume of aid has been $57 per capita compared to Bosnia at $679 per capita and East Timor at $233 per capita. $15 billion has been spent so far out of which 40 percent has returned to donor countries in profits and salaries. Expatriate consultants cost $250000-$500000 annually (200-400 times the salary of an Afghan civil servant). Disbursement of actual aid promises is also a serious problem with the US having disbursed by 2008 only $5 billion out of the $23 billion pledged (22 percent). Only China, ADB, World Bank and Saudi Arabia were able to spend about one-third of their commitments. 60 percent of the total of $25 billion of aid pledged was neither committed nor disbursed.

Meantime , Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Dairy Queen will be shut down in U.S. bases in the country. McChrystal, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, "expressed concern that burger bars, pizza restaurants and other stores... served as a distraction to the military mission."

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