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US Still Lacks Anti-Corruption Strategy in Afghanistan - Inspector General

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Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko said that the United States still lacks a plan for reducing the impact of corruption in Afghanistan.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States still lacks a plan for reducing the impact of corruption in Afghanistan, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko said in testimony for the US Senate Committee on Appropriations.

"The United States continues to operate without a comprehensive overall strategy for coordinating and executing effective measures to reduce the malign influence of corruption in Afghan society," Sopko stated on Wednesday.

The inspector general argued that corruption represents one of the biggest challenges to the Afghanistan reconstruction effort that has been funded by the United States.

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"Kabul relies heavily on customs receipts for domestic revenue, but corruption severely constricts the actual flow of funds to its treasury, while also adding to the risk of ‘donor fatigue’," Sopko said.

"The risk of fraud, waste, and abuse of reconstruction funds in Afghanistan is growing, even as the ability to exercise effective oversight is increasingly constrained," Sopko stated on Wednesday.

The inspector general noted that Afghanistan’s reconstruction has already cost $113 billion, and will continue for years, drawing additional billions in resources.

"The success of this effort critically depends on the US government's ability to efficiently and effectively provide reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan and ensure that funds are not wasted or abused," Sopko argued.

The inspector general added that much needs to be done before Afghanistan can ensure its own stability and security.

US Congress has appropriated more money to reconstruct Afghanistan than the United States spent to rebuild Western Europe after World War II, according to SIGAR.

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