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The Washington Post, July 1, 2015

Watchdog: According to USAID coordinates, a U.S.-funded Afghanistan hospital is in the sea

USAID has spent 0 million to assist the Afghan Ministry of Public Health

By Colby Itkowitz

Another week, another scathing inquiry into how the U.S. government is wasting taxpayer dollars rebuilding Afghanistan.

This time the focus is on a U.S. Agency for International Development program to deliver basic health-care services to the Afghan people and whether USAID even knows where the facilities it helps to fund are located.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) tracked 551 facilities based on coordinates USAID provided in May 2014. Thirteen of them weren’t even in Afghanistan. One was in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) tracked 551 facilities based on coordinates USAID provided in May 2014. Thirteen of them weren’t even in Afghanistan. One was in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.
The Washington Post, Jul. 1, 2015

USAID has spent $210 million to assist the Afghan Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) develop these health services. Of the 641 total facilities funded by U.S. taxpayer dollars, just 551 had coordinates available, and 510 of those may be inaccurate, according to SIGAR.

Inspector General John Sopko sent a letter to USAID last week, which was embargoed until Wednesday at midnight, requesting updated and accurate information.

“To provide meaningful oversight of these facilities,” he wrote, “both USAID and MOPH need to know where they are.”

Seems like that would be a good place to start.

A USAID spokesperson said SIGAR is using an old data set, and a quick analysis found “590 verified and mapped sites within Afghanistan.” The agency is reconfirming and will update SIGAR soon.

In a statement, Larry Sampler, of USAID’s Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs, defended its work delivering health care to “1 million Afghans every month.” He said the agency sends monitors to visit the facilities and report back that everything is “running smoothly.”

Category: Corruption - Views: 2883