Don’t Ask These Feds To Find Their Afghan Hospitals
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) officials have the wrong locations on file for nearly one of every three health facilities funded in the region around Kabul, Afghanistan. Many these USAID-funded facilities even lack running water and electricity.
Those are the findings in a new report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), which questions USAID and Afghan government oversight of the $259.6 million U.S. taxpayers spent on Afghan medical facilities since 2008.
Of the 32 facilities SIGAR examined, five facilities had no running water, three had no electricity and another eight seemingly didn’t have enough power to provide proper lighting or refrigerate pharmaceuticals and vaccines, the report found.
“The absence or inconsistency of electricity to refrigerate these basic stocks raises questions about whether the USAID funding is indeed reaching these facilities,” the report said.
Half of the facilities examined also disposed of medical waste in open-air kilns accessible to the public near where SIGAR staff saw children playing.
Of the 32 medical facilities SIGAR investigated, ten were also more than one kilometer away from the geospacial coordinates USAID had on record, and six of those 10 were more than 10 kilometers away from the geospacial coordinates.
“We believe that accurate location-specific information, including geospacial coordinates, is critical to effective oversight,” SIGAR said.
USAID acting Mission Director Tamra Halmrast-Sanchez didn’t respond to SIGAR’s concerns directly, insisting USAID “carried out direct monitoring” of the health facilities, according to the report.
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