US-Funded Afghan Health Facility Is Located In The Sea, Records Show

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Federal records show that a U.S.-funded Afghan health facility is located in the Mediterranean Sea, a government watchdog reported Monday.

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) coordinates for seven Afghan health facilities it funded are at least three miles away from their actually location, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) wrote. (RELATED: US Has No Clue Where All Those Hospitals It Funded For Afghanistan Are)

“As SIGAR has stressed previously, robust program oversight requires specific knowledge of the location where the service is provided,” Inspector General John Sopko wrote in a letter to USAID Administrator Gayle Smith.

But USAID refused to take the necessary steps to correct the problem.

The agency no longer maintains location data and “obtaining it would require a specialized request to the Afghan government, which USAID was unwilling to make,” a USAID official told SIGAR.

“USAID’s position regarding its monitoring responsibilities is troubling,” Sopko wrote. “[W]e encourage USAID to request and maintain this information, in order to help ensure that funding spent to improve the health of specific populations is actually reaching the intended communities.”

USAID supported 30 Afghan health facilities through its nearly $260 million Partnership Contracts for Health Program from July 2008 through June 2015. The agency gave SIGAR coordinates to 22 of those facilities for inspection.

Of those, four were more than six miles away from their listed coordinates, and another three were between three and six miles away. Another six facilities were between just over a half mile and three miles away, while nine were actually located within about a half mile of their listed location. (RELATED: Only Three Students Actually Attend A Giant, US-Funded Afghan Girls School)

Listed coordinates for one of the health facilities put it in the Mediterranean Sea, according to SIGAR.

Meanwhile, the watchdog’s inspections also found problems. Nine facilities didn’t have electricity and six didn’t have running water.

Inspectors also found “basic structural concerns at most of the facilities, such as cracked walls, leaking roofs, exposed wiring and shattered windows,” Sopko wrote. “Electrical deficiencies, such as exposed live wires, pose serious hazards that could endanger the safety of patients and staff.”

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