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USAID projects boost support for Taliban: Report

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AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: An internal study report of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) revealed that some US-backed projects had increased support for the Taliban insurgents.

The United States has been busy in rebuilding Afghanistan and had invested millions of dollars on different projects. However, the study says that some of the projects had contrary results. The projects also increased support for Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, it added.

Afghans believed that the projects were initiated after the USAID received approval from the insurgents group.

“Worryingly, stabilization programming actually had the perverse effect of increasing support for the Taliban in Taliban-controlled villages,” said the study carried out for USAID by Management Systems International, an agency contractor.

The study mentioned that support for Taliban insurgents had increased in 13 villages where the projects were started.

Nonetheless, Jason Foley, a USAID Senior official, denied the study and said that they had worked in around 5,000 villages and provided increased support for the government in those areas. He said the 13 villages mentioned in the study represented a small proportion of those that have received American assistance.

In other cases, USAID managed its projects so poorly that Taliban leaders were able to successfully submit requests through intermediaries for American aid projects for villages under the group’s control, the study found.