The United States and other international donors are providing approximately $80 million in aid to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan every two weeks, despite growing evidence that the Taliban is misappropriating these funds through fraudulent nonprofit organizations and other means. This information comes from a report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a government watchdog.
According to SIGAR’s report, the United Nations is sending “cash shipments” to Afghanistan every 10 to 14 days, with the intention of protecting these funds from falling into the hands of the Taliban. The Biden administration has allocated over $2.5 billion for humanitarian projects in Afghanistan since the 2020 evacuation, and additional billions have been provided by international donors.
While the U.S. State Department has assured that this aid does not benefit the Taliban, SIGAR’s report reveals that the Taliban’s interference in UN and NGO activities has been on the rise throughout 2023. This interference includes the arrest of aid workers and demands for sensitive project data to be turned over to Taliban officials. The Taliban has also indirectly benefited from U.S. education funding by establishing fraudulent NGOs to receive donor assistance and by infiltrating and extorting existing Afghan NGOs involved in educational aid.
USAID, an agency still active in Afghanistan, reported that their funded projects have been impacted by Taliban interference in recent months, including the detention of partner staff members who were working to prevent aid diversion to ineligible individuals.
The Taliban has also imposed restrictions on women holding supervisory or prominent roles in aid projects, causing concerns for international charities and American aid efforts.
Despite these challenges, the United Nations continues to send cash shipments to Afghanistan every few weeks. The UN places these funds in designated accounts in a private bank, asserting that they are beyond the reach of the Taliban. From December 2021 to July 2023, the United Nations transferred $2.9 billion for humanitarian operations in the country.
Since the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan two years ago, SIGAR reports that the Taliban has strengthened its grip on governing institutions to serve its interests and consolidate its power. According to a U.N. assessment, the Taliban firmly controls the country and is implementing its vision of an “Islamic system.”
The Biden administration has engaged in talks with the Taliban that could lead to U.S. recognition of the Afghan government. These talks continued in July 2023 when senior U.S. officials traveled to Qatar to engage with the Taliban on mutual concerns.
A U.S. intelligence official confirmed that the United States shares counterterrorism information with the Taliban but does not provide “actionable intelligence” or targeting data.
JUST IN: Taliban-Controlled Afghanistan Gets $80 Million Cash Infusion Every Two Weeks — Biden admin, international donors pumping cash into Afghanistan despite mounting evidence Taliban steals it https://t.co/xafHcDBAZy
— Adam Kredo (@Kredo0) November 1, 2023