Taliban benefiting from international aid through
The watchdog for U.S. assistance to Afghanistan has warned that the Taliban are benefiting from international aid through the establishment of fraudulent nongovernmental organizations.
The Taliban have exerted greater control over national and international NGOs since seizing power in August 2021. They have barred Afghan women from NGO work and sought to push out foreign organizations from the education sector.
A report from the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, found that the Taliban benefit from American-funded education programming through the generation of tax revenues and from more “nefarious” methods like the establishment of fraudulent NGOs and extorting and infiltrating existing NGOs to obtain or direct international donor aid.
Taliban spokesmen weren't immediately available for comment on Monday.
In May, a SIGAR report highlighted the Taliban's interference with NGO work in Afghanistan. The economy ministry, which supervises the sector, rejected the claims.
According to the latest SIGAR report, published this month, the U.S. has spent around $185 million on education in Afghanistan since August 2021.
An NGO official told SIGAR that the Taliban target and extort Afghans who receive monetary support from American-funded education programs under the guise of taxation. In another example, NGO officials told the watchdog that the Taliban coerce NGOs into hiring supporters or purchase goods from Taliban-owned companies.
Taliban policies and priorities have reduced the overall quality of education, with a drop in the number of teachers and a decrease in teacher quality, as unqualified community members or Taliban officials replace staff, SIGAR said.
We found that the Taliban have been unable to fully fund public school teacher salaries and building maintenance costs, leading to further teacher shortages and the deterioration of school buildings.
The redirection of international donor aid to community-based education schools, along with financial and infrastructure challenges facing the Taliban, raised serious questions about how the Taliban could sustain the education sector and if they had any intention of doing so, the report said.