Half of aid to Afghanistan said stolen

Jan. 28, 2007 at 7:20 PM

KABUL, Afghanistan, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. and British defense officials say up to half of the foreign aid given to Afghanistan is being stolen by tribal leaders and corrupt police.

The Telegraph reported that rather than finding its way into the hands of those aiming to reconstruct the war-torn country, greedy area officials have been seizing the aid for their own purposes.

"There is increasing corruption from top government officials down, which is making efforts to get reconstruction off the ground much more difficult," British Shadow Defense Secretary Liam Fox said.

That revelation comes in the wake of an agreement between the United States and the European Union to send another $13.7 billion in aid to the country.

Such findings help reinforce an early joint report from the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon that alleged corruption in Afghanistan's police force has rendered it ineffective.

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