Taliban official alleges misuse of funds by aid agencies in Afghanistan

Mohammad Younis Rashid, the deputy minister of information and culture within the Taliban administration, on Tuesday addressed students at Paktia University in Paktia province, asserting that international aid agencies operating in Afghanistan have deviated from their purported focus on the country’s reconstruction and are instead involved in what he characterized as “embezzlement.”

Rashid questioned the validity of the figures presented by international aid organizations, indicating that a reported $2 billion has been expended for humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan over the past two years.

He contended that a substantial portion of these funds “were not channeled toward the betterment of the Afghan people, but rather had an adverse impact on their spiritual well-being.”

This statement contrasts with United Nations data, which indicates that nearly 20 million individuals in Afghanistan have directly benefited from humanitarian aid provided by the organization throughout the current year.

Since the fall of the previous government to the Taliban in August 2021, the United States has consistently provided humanitarian funding to Afghanistan, totaling approximately $2 billion.

Despite reports of diminished responses from donors to the UN’s humanitarian appeal for Afghanistan, the United States has remained at the forefront of contributing nations, offering a sum exceeding $336 million as of July. In the preceding year, the US contributed over $1.26 billion to the UN’s appeal.

As of mid-July 2023, the UN reports that only 23% of this year’s Afghanistan appeal has been funded.