Afghani Scam

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by tubbs1970, Apr 19, 2010.

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  1. Afghani Scam is how i have just heard the aid industry in Afghan described.

    They say only 20% of money donated to aid charities actually goes to the 'cause'.

    My experience was volunteering (self funded) for an animal charity in Africa.

    I saw a British vet driving a top of the range Discovery, on a £40,000 tax free salary and living in a walled villa with stables and a swimming pool.

    The local vet (who appeared to do all the work) empolyed by this same charity was driving a 30 year old 2CV and still lived with his mother. I was too embarrassed to enquire about his salary.

    I believe there are exceptions - Medcine San Frontiers, Mines Advisory Group, etc - but the vast majority of these NGO's are 'jobs for the (privately educated) boys'.

    Agree? Disagree? Anyones 2 peneth worth is welcome - all cash will all be donated to me.
  2. I like targeted google advertising. Displayed below your post is an advert to donate money to Christian Aid on my screen.

    Irony. Even computers have developed it.
  3. The charities fronted by Bono and Geldorf always sounded iffy to me.

    NEVER trust champagne socialists who front charities whilst ensuring their personal incomes are offshore.
  4. Tomorrow - conclusive proof that the Pope is really a Catholic and by next week we will know what bears get up to in the woods
  5. It's the same as any charity, that's why it's called the charity industry.

    Did you see the C4 dispatches program on the London Marathon's missing millions?

    I only give money to service related charities, but even then I'm not naive enough to believe that money isn't being syphoned off somewhere along the line.
  6. I posted this the other day on the Afghan fighting thread:

    Some rather interesting details on 'Following the money' on the Afghan aid budget.

    "KABUL, 22 March 2010 (IRIN) - Afghanistan has been showered with foreign aid since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, but it has been an uphill battle for the government and its donor allies to prove it was all money well spent.

    Critics contend there has been a lack of transparency and coordination and that much of the funding has been squandered through corruption, mismanagement and poor targeting: achievements the government likes to point to in health, education, governance, and communications, could have been achieved at a fraction of the cost, they say.

    Now, with the release of the first Donor Financial Review (DFR) by the Ministry of Finance, some basic facts and figures are finally available.

    How much?

    Donors spent US$36 billion in Afghanistan in 2001-2009 out of a total of $62 billion pledged in grants and loans, according to the DFR.

    Among the dozens of donors, Sweden came out top in terms of covering the gap between commitment and action - translating 90 percent of its pledges into concrete funding, followed by the UK and the USA, while the Asian Development Bank ranked last at 60 percent.

    The USA has been the single largest donor to Afghanistan over the past eight years, disbursing US$23.417 billion.

    Over the past five years per capita donor aid has been $1,241 - far less than the amount spent in Iraq and Bosnia, according to the DFR, despite Afghanistan having some of the worst poverty and vulnerability indicators in the world.

    Low aid absorption capacity has also been cited as a reason why more aid has not reached the vulnerable in Afghanistan, experts say.

    But the quality of aid is an important issue: “The priority is not necessarily on increasing the volume of aid, but on making sure it is spent effectively and has a positive outcome for Afghans,” Ashley Jackson, Oxfam’s head of policy and advocacy in Afghanistan, told IRIN.

    Who controls spending?

    President Hamid Karzai’s government has been pilloried over allegations of endemic corruption, ineptitude and the mismanagement of aid, but it disbursed only 23 percent of foreign grants (about $8 billion).

    Over $29 billion (77 percent of the total disbursed aid) was directly spent by donors with little or no government input; more than $15 of the $29 billion was disbursed directly by foreign military channels, according to the DFR.

    This includes the Commanders Emergency Response Programme - where senior officers in the field have access to cash for tactical spending - and the Provincial Reconstruction Funds, which "aims to win ‘hearts and minds’,” said Oxfam’s Jackson.

    Mark Ward, special adviser on development to the UN’s top envoy in Afghanistan, said donors have funded their own projects because the government has not produced enough well designed national programmes.

    “The donors' projects are often not designed closely with the Afghan government and may reflect domestic priorities, not Afghan priorities,” he told IRIN.

    During an international conference in London in January 2010 donors supported the government’s ambition to disburse 50 percent of total development aid by 2012.

    Spending on what?

    Over half of the total disbursed assistance in 2002-2009 (about $19 billion) was spent on the security sector, particularly on strengthening the police and army, the DFR figures show.

    Health received 6 percent, education and culture 9 percent and agriculture and rural development got 18 percent of the total $36 billion aid.

    “Investments in the security sector are very important because it is hard to support improvements in governance and development if the environment is insecure,” said Ward.

    Improved security is welcomed by aid agencies but they also emphasize that poverty alleviation, genuine development and good governance must not be sidelined by an overemphasis on counter-insurgency objectives.

    Money went where?

    The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and some aid agencies have often argued that relatively little funding has been targeted at the more stable central and northern provinces. But the DFR presents a different picture, with the following amounts spent in the regions (figures in billions of US dollars):

    5.2 in the central provinces
    1.7 in the north
    1.6 in the northeast
    1.4 in the east
    1.3 in the west
    1.2 in the south
    0.9 in southwest "

    See my bold. Apart from the aid money not being forthcoming from donors, the bulk of what aid is available is not being delivered through the Afghan government. Over half the aid is going on security and military assistance. It is coming through basically unsupervised NGO and military channels. The 'Hot' areas in the South and Southwest aren't getting much, in contrast to the central region.
  7. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    Even Holidays for Heroes (an unofficial charity) siphons money off.
    The bastards then go and use it to send injured troops and bereaved families on holiday.

    Can't trust any bugger these days, eh ?
  8. I'm not saying that the vast majority of people that work with charities don't have good intentions, but there will always be people just in it to make money, hols4heroes are not big enough yet to attract hangers on who see charity as an easy way to make money.

    But if you take millions every year, it's bound to happen somewhere along the line.
  9. Afghan IS a scam, its the national industry. Such a level of corruption layered on corruption from then first person you see manning a checkpoint to the President's family and associates.

    Its the reason why the TALIBAN came to power, and like South Vietnam, will eventually be why the blood and treasure invested will yield very little change, today tomorrow and in 10 years time.

    Without even the basic levers for the flow of aid, the task of effective distribution is impossible, sadly.
  10. I know it only too well!......... It is estimated that up to 70% of charities put YOUR money into their back pockets! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
  11. I can't see H4H ever being a scam - it's run by guys in the forces. No matter how we feel about each other when our regiments/corps are in the same barracks, I have yet to see a soldier kick another soldier who is down. That's what separates us from the cockroaches that infest some of the other charities/organisations.
  12. Hmmm wasn't there a thread on here recently about an orificer who syphoned his amputee mates compo?
  13. The biggest players out there aren't charities and don't pretend to be. They are part of the stabilisation effort and work hand in hand with the US government and ISAF, delivering projects in very dangerous areas and living in compounds downtown a long way from ISAF assistance.

    Why should they do it for crap wages? They are part of the war effort, not bible-bashing, tofu-eating, peace-bicycle weaving beatniks.
  14. I heard (on Radio4 this morning) that the aid workers very rarely leave a very well protected plush hotel in Kabul, enjoying cocktails with names such as Tora Bora in the basement bar there... Probably on tax free salaries starting at £60-80k.

    Is there a basement bar in many of the FOBs.... ?
  15. Charities annual reports are often an interesting read....

    Cancer Research gambling (stock market) losses in 07/08 were £26,000,000 (page 19 of their annual report).

    £99,000,000 accounting charges in 06/07 (page 15 of 07/08 annual report).

    That is £125,000,000 of Cancer Research money going to bankers and accountants.

    Think about it.

    I volunteered for the animal charity (shovelling donkey shit, cleaning infected wounds, etc) in north africa to see what it was all about - as i said, i found English vet on £40k+ great benefits. My conclusion? When the recipients of these charities can afford to cloth, feed and educate their children, then they will start to care for their animals.