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    US Risks Wasting $500Mln in Afghan Mining, Oil Investments - Inspector Gen.

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    The US Department of Defense and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) stand to waste a half billion dollars in funding by abandoning the development of Afghanistan’s mining, oil and gas industries.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Defense Department’s and USAID’s poor oversight, according to the release, and their failure to deliver adequate technical training, have posed a significant risk to the $488 million that have been invested in helping Afghanistan build productive and sustainable mining and energy sectors.

    “No United States agency has any plans to provide continued monitoring, evaluation or support for… developing Afghanistan’s extractive industries,” the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said in a press release on Tuesday.

    “One USAID official told SIGAR that it would take the US government ‘a hundred years’ to build the necessary infrastructure and fulfill training requirements to completely develop Afghanistan’s extractive industries,” the release said.

    Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum staff, the release noted, still lack the technical capacity to research, award, and manage new mining and energy contracts without external support.

    Ministry officials are unaware of what US sustainability program training has or will accomplish for their staff, the release added.

    USAID and the US State Department will not support Afghanistan’s extraction initiatives because, according to the release, “their leaderships were not interested in doing so.”

    On Friday, SIGAR reported that the Defense Department was unable to account for nearly $1 billion of funding earmarked for emergency reconstruction and humanitarian aid in Afghanistan.

    SIGAR has identified tens of billions in US taxpayer dollars wasted on reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan since 2002.

    The United States has appropriated more than $107 billion for relief and reconstruction in Afghanistan between 2002 and 2014. About 60 percent of the sum was dedicated to security and nearly 30 percent earmarked for governance and development projects, according to SIGAR.

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    Tags:
    energy, mining, US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), US Defense Department, US Agency for International Development (USAID), Afghanistan, United States
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