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Pentagon-Funded Clinic Closes in Afghanistan

A hospital in Afghanistan that received a $750,000 investment from the Pentagon and hoped to be a model for quality, low-cost medical care is shutting down six years after it opened.  The clinic is unable to continue operating because it is not receiving funds from the Afghan government, who was expected to support the project.

According to the Washington Post, the failed facility is an example of a larger problem. Due to mismanagement within the Afghan government, U.S. dollars are going to waste.

From the article:

How can U.S. officials ensure that their investment isn’t squandered as Afghan ministries take on more responsibility for the projects?

That’s a particular problem for the thousands of projects that received one-time U.S. military grants. In such cases, oversight often ends when troops leave a particular province. About $1.5 billion in [Commander’s Emergency Response Program (CERP) funds] were spent from 2004 to 2011.

“We are not aware of any U.S. military programs in Afghanistan that require the monitoring and evaluation of a facility’s use once we have transferred it to the Afghan government,” said Jeffrey Hawk, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. “As a sovereign entity, the Afghan government determines how to budget and allocate funds for various needs and requirements, including staffing, operations and maintenance.”

Just last week, the Project on Government Oversight’s Scott Amey expressed concern about the diminished oversight capabilities that will come along with U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. As of September 30, 2013, $22 billion is still on the table for projects in the country, yet we won’t be able to keep proper watch over how effectively that money is being spent on dozens of projects.

By: Avery Kleinman
Beth Daley Impact Fellow, POGO

Avery Kleinman At the time of publication Avery Kleinman was the Beth Daley Impact Fellow for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: Contract Oversight

Related Content: Iraq & Afghanistan Reconstruction Contracts, Waste

Authors: Avery Kleinman

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