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US Builds Homes For Displaced Afghans, Locals Turn Around And Destroy Them

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Ethan Barton Managing Editor
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Nearly 950,000 Afghans displaced by the war against Taliban terrorists saw their replacement homes get demolished, despite receiving more than $67 million of U.S. funding, a government watchdog reported Thursday.

American taxpayers fund efforts to provide necessities like food, water, health care and shelter to Afghans displaced by the war, but local resistance and bureaucratic sludge have blocked those efforts, according to a Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction report.

The U.S. Agency for International Development, for example, funded 16 partners with more than $67 million for humanitarian assistance for displaced Afghans, who totaled 948,000 as of June 2015.

“Most of this assistance is used to provide [displaced persons] with logistics support and relief supplies, such as emergency shelter, hygiene kits and winter clothing, while the rest is spent on” management and access to health care food, water, sanitation and hygiene, the report said.

Yet local Afghanistan governments resisted the efforts to provide new homes for displaced citizens. Local officials, for example, have rejected displaced persons’ “right to stay in their provinces and were more inclined to regard [them] as economic migrants who do not have the same rights, such as the right to food, water, adequate shelter, and health care, as other Afghans,” the report stated. (RELATED: US Has No Clue Where All Those Hospitals It Funded For Afghanistan Are)

Also, “some provincial governments generally insisted that settlements established to house [displaced citizens] were only temporary and demolished them,” the report said.

Meanwhile, an Afghan agency “has been slow to distribute land to applicants,” including displaced citizens, according to the report. Land had only been distributed to about 11 percent of the applicants as of October 2013.

Additionally, U.S.-funded private and charity groups, as well as international organizations, weren’t required to coordinate their assistance to displaced people. Consequently such groups couldn’t organize their efforts to provide services such as education and nutrition with each other, the United Nations or the Afghan government.

“Their primary reason for not requiring the [groups] they fund to coordinate their [displaced citizens] assistance efforts is to ensure that those organizations can focus on their humanitarian work rather than attending coordination meetings,” the report said.

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