Sunday, January 28, 2007

Yeah, they are but what about the Int'l Development Community itself?

Afghan Police Steal

Corrupt police and tribal leaders are stealing vast quantities of reconstruction aid that is intended to improve the lives of ordinary Afghans and turn them away from the Taliban, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.
A joint report by the Pentagon and the US state department, circulated to congressional committees last month, concluded that the Afghan police force was corrupt to the point of ineffectiveness. One Pentagon official told The Sunday Telegraph that police officers had stolen and sold at least half of the equipment supplied by the US, including thousands of cars and trucks.
Well, duh. But can we also talk about how much it cost to WRITE that report? It may 'technically be legal' but yeesh, the amount of money spent on writing reports makes me so angry.

In fairness, I actually have found the various Militaries to be more helpful than other actors in international development. The amount of money spent on writing reports that take ages to write and aren't translated into Dari or's not called corruption but I think it's just as wasteful.

Oh, and let's remember who is responsible for police reform...


Frida World said...

I've been in a workshop all day with Prosecutors, District CoPs and CID officers from the district and provincial level in Badghis.

I had no money to pay for their transport from, e.g. Jawand to Qala-e-Naw (which I've been told can cost a weeks wages) but they came.

The workshop is on criminal justice (basically teaching the applicable provisions of the Afghan Consitution and laws) and focuses on issues affecting women. But they came.

Thanks to the Spanish PRT, we had a hot lunch, and thanks to my pocket money we had fuel for the bukhari and chai and sweets. But no per diems, no expenses paid for participants. But they came.

I thought this workshop would be a long shot, but they came. And they engaged. In the role plays some got to be defense lawyers for a fictional girl who had run away from home, and they played the part with commitment.

More often than not I'm overwhelmed by the challenges facing the police force here. But some days I'm a little bit hopeful.

Today is one of those days.

homeinkabul said...

You're awesome, thank you for sharing and for working in Afghanistan.

I wish we had more people like you.

Elizabeth said...

And what about theft among NGO staff? There is a strong reason to believe that when construction projects were at their peak, a few NGO staff- mainy local but also expat- were engaging in very corrupt practices as well.

I love Frida's story... hopeful indeed, thanks!

homeinkabul said...

E: you're completely right. the theft occurs on every level. my point here though was that much of the funding is spent on writing reports, which isn't illegal/corrupt but wastes a lot of money. I'm not talking about reports where people are actually helped (areu) but those where the reports aren't disseminated or translated it into dari.

Anonymous said...

I'm an American, in Kabul, working with the Police. I'm not in control, I help. Issues like the one posted above are still happening, but I am happy to say that the minister is making sure that the police who do this are punnished. I'm happy to help the very hospitable Afghans to make their country stable and honorable. These acts take from the honor and we are working to stop them.