In one of the most recent Afghanistan debacles, the Taliban has established fraudulent non-governmental organizations (NGO) to loot the hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid that the United States has sent Afghanistan since the 2021 military withdraw. NGOs are typically nonprofits with humanitarian missions that supposedly work to improve public or social welfare. Approximately 1.5 million NGOs operate in the U.S., according to the State Department, and they advocate for a variety of issues that include the environment, healthcare, women’s rights, marginalized populations, youth empowerment and economic development. The U.S. government gives NGOs billions of taxpayers every year through various agencies, including the departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and State.
In Afghanistan terrorists are not surprisingly stealing the humanitarian aid that keeps flowing to the central Asian Islamic nation by, among other things, utilizing fake NGOs. Specifically, the Taliban is benefiting from American education funding through the establishment of fraudulent NGOs to receive donor assistance, according to an audit published recently by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). The Taliban is also infiltrating and extorting existing Afghan NGOs delivering educational assistance, the probe found. “For example, an NGO official told us the Taliban are targeting and extorting Afghans who receive monetary support from U.S.-funded education programs under the guise of taxation,” the report states. “In another example, NGO officials told SIGAR that the Taliban are coercing NGOs to hire Taliban supporters or purchase goods from Taliban-owned companies.”
Prior to the Biden administration’s abrupt military withdraw, the U.S. invested $1.3 billion on education-related programming in Afghanistan and reportedly it “contributed to significant improvements” in the Muslim nation’s education system. Since the terrorist group returned to power in August 2021, Uncle Sam has continued to fund Afghanistan’s education sector through six programs that cost $185.2 million even though the Taliban has issued decrees drastically limiting access to education for girls and women as well as restricting women’s ability to work and other basic freedoms. Nevertheless, the American taxpayer dollars keep flowing. In fiscal year 2023, which ended in September, the U.S. sent Taliban-ruled Afghanistan over $566 million in humanitarian assistance. Most of it was for emergency food but a chunk was classified as going to general humanitarian and health. More than $15 million went to a cause that is labeled “redacted” in the government records.
It’s not like American government officials don’t know the Taliban is taking the money. A report issued earlier this year by the United States Institute of Peace, the federal institution founded by Congress to promote worldwide conflict resolution, concluded that foreign-funded assistance is unlikely to prove effective as leverage to shape the Taliban government’s behavior. “On the contrary, the Taliban are likely to increasingly regard foreign funded activities as just another potential revenue stream,” the U.S. Institute of Peace found. “Any form of humanitarian or development assistance is prone to manipulation by the Taliban. Aid/development delivery…exposes [foreign donors] to Taliban coercion with little leverage or recourse to resist.” Specific to education, SIGAR writes that the Taliban’s “repressive” policies, especially those targeting girls and women, have severely limited access to, and the quality of, education at all levels. Yet the American taxpayer dollars keep pouring into the terrorist group’s coffers.
Laughably, the Islamic Emirate Afghanistan (IEA) denied in a Pakistani news report that the Taliban is stealing U.S. education funds, insisting that the IEA acts in the best interest of Afghanistan. “The claims made by SIGAR regarding Afghanistan are far from reality,” according to the IEA’s deputy spokesman quoted in the article. “The Islamic Emirate makes all decisions and manages affairs in Afghanistan based on its principles and the nation’s welfare.”