BBC Persian (Translated by RAWA), June 24, 2008
Villagers of Bamiyan: The Internaional Aid has not Changed Our Lives
“Ngoism (NGOism) has dried the economical roots of the people.”
Some Afghan villagers say that despite the contribution of billions of dollars to this country in the past six years, their lives have not even changed slightly.
Many villagers claim their lives have not changed at all, despite the billions of dollars of aid- Photo: BBC
They said that corruption had caused a lot of money that was supposed to be used in economical projects to come into the hands of a few people.
Qasim, an Afghan villager in the Punjab district of Bamiyan province in the center of Afghanistan, said that despite a lot of aid given to this country in the last six years, he feels no change in his life.
He said that of the contribution of the world he has only got a lamp through a program of the government of Afghanistan (Unity of the Nation) to develop the villages.
End of Aid?
This villager lives with his family in a house which is more like a cave. He says pointing to a lamp that is hanging on top, “The solar module the government has given me has lighted this lamp in my dark house.”
Qasim said, “If this solar module breaks, the help of the world to me will be finished.”
He said that he has spent a considerable amount of money for using the solar module. To use this solar module he had to buy some battery and bulbs which cost him more than 2000 Afghanis.
A Goat and a Chicken
Ghulam Rasool, Qasim’s neighbor, lives in a house with no carpet with five members of his family. He says that foreign aid to Afghanistan has not had the slightest effect on his life.
Ghulam Rasool says that his financial condition is worst than that of six years back. He said six years back he had three sheep and he earned his food through agriculture.
But now this man says he only has one goat and one chicken and owes someone 6000 Afghanis.
Plough Using Cows
Arzi Hussain, a farmer in a village in the district of Punjab, said the help of the international community has not increased the product of his lands.
He said that his agricultural land gives a considerably less product as compared to other years due to constant use of the land.
Mr. Hussain said that in the last years no change has come to his method of growing crops and the tools that he used. He says he still uses tools with his hands and cows to plough the land.
The Afghan villagers claim that the Afghan government has not done enough to develop their economy.
Ibrahim Akabri, the district chief of Punjab said that financial corruption in projects of developing villages has caused no change to be brought into the people’s lives.
Mr. Akbari said, “The suitable conditions for work are available in the area but the correct managing to implement the projects is absent.”
He believes that conditions for work in the section of cattle breeding, agriculture and handicrafts “is absolutely ready” but no investment has been done in these sections.
The district chief of Punjab also criticized the NGOs. According to him many of the projects of NGOs have not proved useful for the economy of the people.He added, “Ngoism (NGOism) has dried the economical roots of the people.”
All this is happening in the conditions where in the past six years 15 billion dollars of the help of the international community has been spent on the reconstruction of the country and the Afghan government also has the promise of several other billion dollars from the international community.
Lately, countries and organizations in favor of the Afghan government promised to help Afghanistan’s reconstruction by contributing 20 billion dollars in the Paris Conference on 12th of June.
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