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Afghan Daily Welcomes Accountability for NGOs

BBC

January 05, 2006

Text of editorial by Afghan newspaper Cheragh on 4 January entitled "Public representatives summon public thugs".

According to a decision of the lower house of parliament, NGOs are to be summoned to meetings of the lower house for questioning. Since the establishment of a new system in Afghanistan in recent years, NGOs have forgotten their primary responsibility to provide charitable assistance and social services to people. They have instead taken on the role of construction companies, road-making companies and have worked in other sectors.

There is no doubt that their intention has been to embezzle the money donated to Afghanistan and they have placed the undertaking of useless projects at the top of their list of priorities. This has inflicted irreparable damage on the poor nation of Afghanistan.

This comes at a time when reports supported by the government and international sources suggest that most of the money given in aid by the world community has been spent through these NGOs.

NGOs took the money from donor countries and this money changed hands between NGOs like mafia bonds. The money supposed to be spent on a project would be reduced to less than half of the original amount while passing from one hand to another.

Reports from some villages suggest that schools and buildings constructed by NGOs have collapsed within three years of being built. Given the fact that the government of Afghanistan lacked the capacity to handle the assistance provided for Afghanistan, some thugs and smugglers found it easy to embezzle this money and they did so.

Apparently, they proceeded with some projects to show that they were doing some work but in reality they completed only half of the work to ensure that the poor people of Afghanistan remained grateful to them in the future.

The people of Afghanistan, who are not content with the work done by NGOs, welcome this measure by members of parliament. If the Afghan parliament takes the plundering NGOs to task and quizzes them, they will indeed be bringing the enemies of the people to justice and people will be happy with this measure.

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