$89 Million in U.S. Funding to Increase Election Participation in Afghanistan

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As the Taliban took over the Afghan capital city of Kabul, President Ashraf Ghani fled — with cars full of cash.

That’s as thousands of residents tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to flee the country now run by the Taliban after American troops pulled out under President Joe Biden’s orders.


A single U.S. Air Force C-17A cargo jet carried 800 Afghans fleeing in terror while at least seven people died at the airport in Kabul, including some who grabbed onto the outside of the plane as it flew away.

During the United States’ almost 20 years in the country, spending $2.3 trillion, at least $89 million from U.S. Agency for International Development was spent to increase election participation in Afghanistan.

The goal was a democratic government with broad citizen participation.

Ghani had been president since September 2014 until he fled the country, leaving his constituents behind.

With the United States’ help to elevate women, the country saw its first female mayor elected to govern Maidan Sharh in central Afghanistan in 2018. Not only was she the first woman but she is believed to have been the youngest. Zarifa Ghafari, now 27, believes the Taliban will kill her.

Increasing election participation in Afghanistan was a noble goal. With the swift U.S. withdrawal and Islamic fundamentalist takeover, the U.S. objective has been laid to waste.

Learn more:
OpenTheBooks Oversight Report, U.S. Foreign Aid
Forbes, 10 U.S. Investments In Afghanistan That Didn’t Pan Out

The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com.

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