Millions of Taxpayer Dollars Sent to the Taliban – American Faith

A report from federal watchdog organization Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) found that nearly $11 million taxpayer dollars went to the Taliban.

Taxpayer dollars were sent to Afghanistan following the 2021 U.S. military withdrawal.

“The U.S. government has continued to be the largest international donor supporting the Afghan people since the former Afghan government collapsed and the Taliban returned to power in August 2021,” the report reads. “Since then, the U.S. government has provided more than $2.8 billion in humanitarian and development assistance to help the people of Afghanistan.”

Most of the taxpayer dollars are sent to the Taliban through nongovernmental organizations.

“To carry out their programs, U.S. agencies rely heavily on nongovernmental organizations and public international organizations, such as the UN, to implement humanitarian and development assistance,” the report said. “Both the former Ghani administration and the current Taliban-controlled government benefited from U.S. aid by imposing taxes, fees, duties and utilities on implementing partners as a condition of operating in Afghanistan.”

The near-$11 million number is “likely only a fraction of the total amount of U.S. assistance funds provided to the Taliban in taxes, fees, duties, and utilities because UN agencies receiving U.S. funds did not collect data or provide relevant information about their subawardees’ payments,” SIGAR wrote.

According to the report, some claim the Taliban have “regularly inquired about ways to obtain donor funding, including through the establishment of Afghan NGOs.”

These concerns were highlighted in a report from Judicial Watch, which explained that the Taliban has created “fraudulent” nongovernmental groups to “loot the hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid that the United States has sent Afghanistan since the 2021 military withdrawal.”

“In fiscal year 2023, which ended in September, the U.S. sent Taliban-ruled Afghanistan over $566 million in humanitarian assistance,” Judicial Watch wrote. “Most of it was for emergency food but a chunk was classified as going to general humanitarian and health. More than $15 million went to a cause that is labeled ‘redacted’ in the government records.”

American Faith reported that John Sopko, Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that $2.5 billion in humanitarian assistance has been provided to Afghanistan without the U.S. government knowing where that money is going.

“The State Department has basically obfuscated, delayed reports … ordered their employees not to talk to us,” Sopko said. “We’ve gone out of our way to work with them but we’re still not getting cooperation.”

Sopko said that while he doesn’t know how the aid is being used, information from multiple sources has indicated that the “Taliban is diverting or otherwise benefiting” from the aid.

“Many would like to believe we are aiding Afghan people while successfully bypassing the Taliban. This can be viewed as a useful fiction, as it ignores the fact that it’s impossible to entirely bypass the Taliban regime,” he stated.

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