Entries in Recontruction (2)


US Reconstruction Plans Hitting Major Snag in Afghanistan

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Construction projects in Afghanistan meant to deflate the influence of the Taliban may turn out to be more trouble than they're worth, according to a report released Monday by the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction.

In 2010, the Afghan Infrastructure Fund authorized by Congress set aside hundreds of millions of dollars for the State and Defense Departments to build new roads and power plants intended to support the U.S. counterinsurgency program.

The goal, supported by then top U.S. commander David Petraeus, was to create an infrastructure that would improve the quality of life for most Afghans, thus making them less likely to turn to the Taliban.

However, the special inspector general's report says that things are so behind schedule that the benefits of the construction projects won't be realized until long after U.S. troops have departed and that in fact, the Afghans might not have the means to sustain the new infrastructure.

This situation could turn into an “expectations gap” among the population that might actually undermine overall stabilization efforts.

The special inspector general warned, "If goals are set and not achieved, both the U.S. and Afghan governments can lose the populace’s support.”

In response, the top Pentagon official responsible for Afghanistan countered that the projects have generated goodwill and excitement among the Afghan people.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pakistan Flood Reconstruction Efforts in Need of Funding

U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Joshua Kruger/Released(UNITED NATIONS) -- The UN special envoy for assistance to Pakistan has said that more needs to be done to help those affected by last year's devastating flood.  The comments by Rauf Engin Soysal came as Pakistan marked the first anniversary of the country's "worst ever" floods, that inundated a large part of the country.

"We certainly need to do more, we certainly need to draw lessons, yet we certainly need to keep up the momentum to continue to deliver the promises we made one year ago to our brothers and sisters in Pakistan."

Floods that struck Pakistan last year represented one of the most devastating natural disasters of the decade, submerging almost one-fifth of the country, killing 200 people, affecting 20 million, and destroying 1.6 million homes.  Reconstruction is predicted to cost up to 10.9 billion US dollars -- almost one quarter of Pakistan's national budget.

Zafar Iqbal Qadir is the chairman of Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority.

"To the extent of providing proper housing to all the affectees, yes it has not been possible for the government so far, but that needs a huge amount of money which we still do not have at an our disposal."

It is unclear how Pakistan will come up with the money, and some flood victims complain that corruption has prevented them from benefiting from the funds that are available.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio