A decade of Western aid in Afghanistan – mission unsustainable?

Mohammad Hussain poses for a picture inside his grape farm in Parwan province December 13, 2014. CREDIT: REUTERS/MOHAMMAD ISMAIL

(Reuters) – Afghanistan has new roads, sections of which many deem too dangerous to use. It has a turbine to fill electricity needs that remains in pieces. Sixteen transport planes given to the Air Force were scrapped having barely flown.

Afghan farmer Mohammad Malik stands outside his grape pitfall which was build by USAID project in ParwanAfghan farmer Mohammad Malik stands outside his grape pitfall which was build by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) project in Parwan province December 13, 2014.

International aid has been the mainstay of the Afghan economy since the Taliban were ousted in 2001, and donors, chiefly the United States, have plenty to show for tens of billions of dollars they poured into the war-ravaged nation.

Yet for all the success of cities rising from the rubble and boys and girls flocking to schools, there are frequent examples of aid poorly spent, with little regard for the long term viability of projects once money taps are turned off.

Take Mohammad Nasir, a farmer in his 70s who was recommended to Reuters by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as an example of its success in Afghanistan.

Nasir earns over three times the national average wage of around $650 a year, thanks largely to U.S. money that covered most of the cost of the concrete trellises on which his grapes grow near Kabul.

Yet once the USAID project finishes this month, even its contractor says the program may be unsustainable. USAID had hoped farmers would copy the expensive, built-to-last structures with local resources, but new techniques have yet to catch on.

“I don’t think it will be possible for them (farmers) to do it by themselves,” said Amanullah Sahak, regional coordinator for the Commercial Horticulture and Agricultural Marketing Program…


Why are Muslims so incompetent?  Inbreeding?  

And jeez, I wish they would stop calling so many boys ‘Mohammed’. It really makes it hard to try match the photos to the names.   Neither photo of a Mohammed appears to the Mohammed in the example.  (There are more pix at the link but I am out of time.)

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  • chayisun

    Anyone who actually thinks that the followers of islam would or even could do something on their own is sadly mistaken. They are not like the people in Israel who built their country up to what it is today, from sand and rock.

    Muslims are basically stupid. The only thing they do well is kill each other in the name of islam, kill people who are not members of their brain damaged cult and cause untold misery wherever they happen to be.

    They couldn’t build an outhouse without the assistance of the west. Not that they would be able to figure out what an outhouse is.

  • mauser 98
    • Frau Katze

      Must be a few who refuse to grow opium.

      • mauser 98

        mmm i dunno $$$$

  • ed

    the word is inshalla [gods will] win the lottery ,inshalla lose the ticket ,inshalla and that is how muslims live there lives

  • Hard Little Machine

    Anything thought of after the 8th century is Haram.

  • minuteman

    One of my great uncles was a Royal Engineer Squadron commander building airstrips behind enemy lines in the jungles of Burma in WW11. After the war he worked for the UN in A’stan on infrastructure projects likes roads and hydro electric dams. The sum total of his lifes work was destroyed during the Soviet occupation and has probably never been rebuilt.

    • Frau Katze

      Afghanistan just cannot seem to get it together. At all. Not even a bit.

  • ntt1

    they are crippled with tribalism, defeatism and a wretched guide book that they take literaly . given draconian education away from any cultural impediments they might build a modern culture afer several decades provided islam was totally erradicated.
    it would be more cost effective to seal their whole wretched culture away inside the borders of the islamic sand box.

  • Just a thought

    Mustn’t be giving them enough explosives.

    As to the poppy problem, spray with malathion at sufficiently high concentration, and it will kill the plants. (I was trying to grow poppy seeds, and the first crop was infested, so I sprayed with that and lost the next one, after which I gave up.)

  • Maurixio Garcia S

    The West should abandon that country for good no reason to be there trying to help them,they are living in the stone age nothing can change them.

    • Frau Katze

      Nothing we have done has helped. All it has done is stirred up resentment. So under the circumstances, the only solution is to just leave them alone.

      • Maurixio Garcia S

        You right miss , over there is a land with no hope at all.

  • Dana Garcia

    Afghanistan is backward even by Muslim standards.

    Still, I wonder about some of the technology introduced and whether it might have been manufactured by political donors.

    By comparison, I met a man, a professor at SJ State, who had a small non-profit to distribute solar ovens to sunny areas, particularly Africa, where the forests were being cut down for firewood. Appropriate technology can be a huge help, but if has to be simple enough for illiterate people to manage.