Entry: The NGO Paradox (Kabul, Afghanistan) Tuesday, October 25, 2005



This evening I talked with the young Shoaid about the situation in Afghanistan, especially with that of the NGO's.  He concurred with the multitude of others that their is a troubling paradox surrounding the presence of NGO's in Afghanistan.  The NGO's have caused real estate prices and rents to skyrocket in the area around Kabul.  Now locals cannot afford to buy a home and businesses struggle to pay the rent.  For example, the Malik Express office costs $1200 per month in rent while in neighboring Pakistan a similar spot in the city would cost $200.

Millions and millions of dollars pour into Afghanistan.  Does anyone ask where the money is going?  There is no reliable water or electricity.  Why is that?  Aren't these the first and basic needs?

It is an unfortunate fact that much of the money gets funneled into government officials pockets.  Corruption and greed has been part of the culture for too long and continues to be a huge problem.  One of the most ludicrous examples of misspent money is the direct fault of NGO's and their employees.  Most of the aid money given to the Afghanistan government goes right back out of the country through the outrageous salaries given to greedy foreign employees.  These high dollar "consultants" and nation building "experts" can earn $50,000 a month!  It's no wonder the Afghan people remain suspicious of the foreign presence.  The money that comes in only serves to sustain the presence of those NGO's without providing any real benefit to the people.

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