Joined: 03 Jun 2005
|Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:46 pm Post subject: 70 MILLION AID MONEY PAID TO TALIBAN, END AID MONEY NOW
|£70m of British aid 'paid to the Taliban': Cash wasted on bribes and protection money, say campaigners
By Kirsty Walker
Last updated at 2:28 AM on 13th August 2011
Millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money could be ending up in the pockets of Taliban insurgents and corrupt Afghan officials, a damning report has revealed.
The International Crisis Group warned that up to 10 per cent of overseas aid was being paid in bribes and protection money to the Taliban and officials in Kabul.
Over the next four years, the Prime Minister has pledged to give £710million to Afghanistan alone. That could mean up to £70million of British money going to the very people we are fighting.
Taliban fighters: Contractors say their projects and staff may be attacked if they do not pay up
The Department for International Development spent £102million on aid to Afghanistan in the last financial year, but this will rise to £178million this year. Of these totals, 16 per cent goes to Helmand province, where British troops operate.
The hard-hitting report found that despite billions being poured into Afghanistan in aid, the country shows no signs of becoming ‘politically stable or economically viable’.
More...The Best of British: Hundreds of respectful mourners to salute fallen soldier at last-ever repatriation through Wootton Bassett
Pakistani soldier sentenced to death for shooting unarmed man in video that shocked the world
It also warned that there was ‘no possibility’ of the country becoming secure within the next three years, despite the efforts of Britain and other Nato countries.
The report will fuel criticism by some Tory MPs over David Cameron’s promise to increase UK spending on aid to 0.7 per cent of GDP at a time when other Whitehall departments are being hit with swingeing cuts.
Hostile: But anti-western forces often funnel off aid money thanks to Afghanistan's political corruption
A total of £35billion has been given to Afghanistan by the international community since 2001.
The report by the ICG, which campaigns to prevent global conflicts, said: ‘After a decade of major security, development and humanitarian assistance, the international community has failed to achieve a politically stable and economically viable Afghanistan.
‘Despite billions of dollars in aid, state institutions remain fragile and unable to provide good governance, deliver basic services to the majority of the population or guarantee human safety.’
It went on to warn that aid delivery was being ‘undermined by corruption in Kabul and bribes paid to insurgent groups to ensure security for development projects’.
Taliban: £70million of British aid to Afghanistan will end up in the wrong hands
Contractors working on vital projects – such as building roads, hospitals and schools – have reported paying up to 10 per cent of the cost to the Taliban, otherwise they are prevented from finishing their work or ‘at worst’ had their projects and staff attacked.
The ICG said: ‘Consequently, taxpayers’ money fuels corruption networks.’
Previous reports have been highly critical of the West’s aid efforts, warning that Afghanistan is receiving more than it can spend.
Meanwhile, as many as half of the country’s infrastructure projects have been estimated to end in failure. Mr Cameron’s controversial decision to increase spending on international aid dates back to his early attempts to modernise the party, but Conservative MPs are becoming increasingly vocal in their criticism.
Opposition: Defence Secretary Liam Fox is one of many MPs calling for the foreign aid budget to be cut
Defence Secretary Liam Fox is among those who have challenged the rise in a letter to Mr Cameron which was recently leaked to the media.
Tory MP Philip Davies said: ‘It is unjustifiable and unacceptable.
‘It is bad enough that we are giving so much money away in overseas aid. But it is a further kick in the teeth to taxpayers when they see it wasted and frittered away on corruption.
‘People cannot understand why, if we cannot afford to do things domestically, we can afford to spend millions of pounds on corruption and bribes to insurgents in Afghanistan and other countries.
‘It is unjustifiable.’
International aid is one of only a handful of areas, including health spending in England, being ring-fenced from spending cuts over the next four years. Most other departments are seeing their budgets slashed.
Many countries, including the United Kingdom, have tried to bypass the Afghan government to deliver aid directly.
A spokesman for the Department of International Development insisted that the ICG’s report made no direct criticism of Britain’s aid effort to Afghanistan.
He said: ‘This is not about British aid. This report makes no claims whatsoever that British aid funding is being paid as Taliban protection. We have strict safeguards in place to monitor exactly where our funding is going and protect against misuse.
‘British aid to Afghanistan builds roads, builds government capacity and gets young people into jobs as part of the British commitment to protect our own national security by helping Afghans take control of theirs.’
Tory MP Mark Pritchard defended the Government’s spending on aid. He said: ‘The Coalition has put in place new and robust measures to improve the accountability and transparency of international aid both in Afghanistan and different parts of the world.
‘But clearly there is much more that needs to be done to reduce mismanagement and corruption.’
Once again the Government is wasting our money. We already heard that money to Somalia was used to buy arms and support piracy, Money for Afghanistan used to support the Taliban and I suspect money to other countries is also being misused. Even if not money used for help to the population frees despotic regimes money for arms purchases. Time to really look at what happens to Aid money.
And Camerloony wants too increase the amount is he totally stupid ,why cant he see that the wrong people are getting the money when we can .
END OVERSEAS AID NOW, CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME.