The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has released its fifty-fourth Quarterly Report to the United States Congress. It examines the U.S. reconstruction effort in Afghanistan that now totals $145 billion. Some of the key points of the 189 page report are noted below.
Starvation. Over half of Afghanistan’s population is not getting enough food. The humanitarian emergency is the result of record drought (two years in a row), rising food prices, internal population displacement, collapse of the Afghan economy, and the severe diminishment of public services following the Taliban’s return to power. Millions of Afghan children will suffer from acute malnutrition in the coming months, with one million at risk of dying.
Poverty. Up to 97% of Afghanistan’s population is at risk of slipping below the poverty line by mid-2022 due to the political and economic crises currently in progress. Some estimates show that it would take $2 billion in foreign aid to lift the incomes of Afghans up the the poverty line.
USAID. Last fall, the State Department had suspended all contact with the Afghan government. Many of the organization’s programs and projects were terminated, suspended, or paused. USAID has resumed some off-budget (U.S.-managed) activities in Afghanistan.
U.S. Aid to Afghanistan. The United States is providing millions of dollars in humanitarian aid for Afghanistan. The U.S. remains the single largest humanitarian aid donor to Afghanistan.
Opium. Afghan opiate production was the third highest in 2001, since 1994. The drug trade comprises about 9-14% of Afghanistan’s gross domestic product. This exceeds the value of all of Afghanistan’s licit exports for 2020.
More Topics. Additional areas covered in the report include the new Taliban education curriculum, restrictions on women’s employment, security, Afghan armed forces, U.S. funding, women’s rights, and the health care system.
SIGAR reports are mandated by Congress and have been one of the more informative and accurate government agencies providing analysis on Afghanistan. Anyone who has reading their quarterly and special reports over the past decade would not have been surprised that the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) would collapse after a U.S. troop and contractor withdrawal and that the government of Afghanistan would fall to the Taliban.
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) Quarterly Report to Congress, January 30, 2022, PDF, 189 pages.