Fighting Corruption A ‘Precondition’ For Foreign Aid

05novemberNovember 05, 2017: The US’s deputy chief of mission said at a meeting that the Taliban is using corruption for their own gains and that it is undermining the peace process.

the United States’ deputy chief of mission to Afghanistan Richard H. Riley said on Sunday at the ninth Cooperation Meeting of Afghanistan’s Donor Countries in Kabul that accountability needs to be enforced as a precondition for foreign aid to Afghanistan.

He said that fighting corruption must also be a precondition.

Riley said corruption has undermined the legitimacy and ability of government institutions and that Taliban use the situation for their own interests. According to Riley, the sale of fuel by security forces to the enemy will damage the important missions in Afghanistan.

Riley said corruption will also undermine the peace process, rule of law and security.

“The US government has prioritized anti-corruption and transparency within the MoI and MoD to improve donor confidence. Corruption is a threat to Afghanistan's national security .... It undermines the rule of law and weakens the legitimacy and power of the Afghan government. All of which play into the Taliban narrative. Corruption also harms the critical missions to protect the Afghan people and borders when corrupt officials sell ANDSF's fuel and weapons to the enemy,” said Riley.

In the last 10 years the US has chaired the directorate of cooperation of military support to Afghanistan, but on Sunday the directorate was handed over to the Netherlands.

“We are all committed to further supporting the Afghan government to be safer and more prosperous Afghanistan. Though the situation is far from perfect, a lot has been done to enable the ANDSF to provide security for the people of Afghanistan. We commend the National Unity Government for progress on key ... issues. As a credible ANDSF roadmap with a clear plan for implementation, leadership and behavior will change to implement a series of reforms, tackling corruption, a competent HR system for all ANDSF personnel, female participation at all levels and for the continuing efforts toward financial sustainability,” said Sharmila Bihari, from the Netherlands embassy in Kabul.

Meanwhile the Afghan finance minister Iklil Hakimi also attended the meeting and reported on his ministry’s achievements in terms of economic growth and fighting corruption. He said the achievements made in these areas will help maintain security.

“Afghanistan is in the frontline of the world’s anti-terror fight. We are fighting 20 groups that have been recognized as insurgents. Violence and group attacks have created big challenges for our people, but I am hopeful of the future and believe that we will fulfill our commitments made to our partners and our people,” said Hakimi.

"Afghanistan was the first country to finish procurement for CASA 1000 which will generate 1,000 megawatts of electricity for Pakistan and 300 megawatts for Afghanistan. And an agreement for a new 500 KVA power line from Turkmenistan to Pakistan to Afghanistan will soon be signed. Turkmenistan has started construction of a section of TAPI and we are on track with technical assessments," Hakimi added.

The donor countries said they will continue supporting Afghanistan’s security forces in the fight against terrorism.

Source: Tolonews