US, Other Aid Cuts Could Imperil Afghan Govt: SIGAR

Further cuts in aid to Afghanistan by the United States and other donors could cause the government to collapse and return the country to chaos similar to the 1990s, a U.S. government watchdog said on Monday.

“Eighty percent of Afghanistan’s budget is funded by the U.S. and the (other international) donors,” Sopko said in a Reuters interview. “If, for whatever reason, the donors keep drawing down funding … that could bring the sudden demise of the Afghan government as we know it.”

He warned of “history repeating itself,” referring to the anarchy that convulsed Afghanistan after the Soviet Union ended its 1979-89 occupation and cut its assistance to the Kabul government.

International annual development aid to Afghanistan has decreased from a high of .
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7 billion in 2011, hitting $4.2 billion in 2019, according to World Bank data.

Sopko testifies on Tuesday before the House of Representatives Oversight and Reform Committee on his latest report.

The warning by John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, came as the United States, Russia and other countries strive to kickstart stalled Afghan peace talks and President Joe Biden faces a May 1 deadline for withdrawing all remaining U.S. troops.

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