An American aid project in Afghanistan that was billed as the world’s biggest program ever designed purely for female empowerment has been a failure and a waste of taxpayers’ money, the head of a government watchdog agency has charged.
The New York Times has written the project by the United States Agency for International Development, which was named Promote, was originally budgeted at $280 million and was supposed to help 75,000 Afghan women get jobs, promotions, apprenticeships and internships.
Three years later, one of the few concrete results cited in a study of the project released on Thursday by the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction was the promotion of 55 women to better jobs. But the report said it was unclear whether the program could even be credited for those promotions.
The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction has repeatedly criticized American aid projects in Afghanistan as wasteful and poorly conceived.
The new report expressed concern that three contractors’ security and overhead costs accounted for 18 percent of the $89 million disbursed so far, five years after USAID announced it was introducing Promote.
In the meantime, the spokesman of the Ministry of Women Affairs, Roya Dadras accepts the desperation of aids but says these kinds of projects do not have political supports and work independently.
Analysts believe that compared to the amount of donated aids, no significant work has been done for women in Afghanistan.
While there are more than 500 projects for women in Afghanistan, Afghan women are still faced with many challenges.
Source: New York Times