USA Today published two articles in 2009 — “Short-staffed USAID tries to keep pace” and “Audits: USAID lacks accountability” — that provide an incomplete picture of Chemonics’ and USAID’s work.
Foreign assistance from USAID and other donors is yielding many positive results in Afghanistan, despite the impression created by these articles. The audits of Chemonics’ projects that the stories cite are mid-term reports and do not reflect the success and impact of completed projects. As well, the considerable challenges to any development effort in Afghanistan, including security risks, are not adequately addressed in the stories.
As a long-time partner to USAID, Chemonics has witnessed first-hand the significant difference that USAID and others are making in the lives of the Afghan people despite challenging and dangerous circumstances. For example, through the distribution of wheat seeds and technical advice, thousands of farmers are earning their living growing legal crops as an alternative to poppy production. Improved roads, irrigation systems, and agricultural fairs across the country are making it easier for farmers to produce, deliver, and sell their crops in the market. And millions of heads of livestock are healthier thanks to clinics, vaccinations, and education of veterinarians and farmers.
USAID’s accomplishments in such challenging circumstances merit greater attention, and Chemonics applauds the reporters and news organizations that have covered USAID’s work in a balanced manner. Recent examples include:
Chemonics and other partners can point to scores of additional stories of impact. We agree that there is much more to be done, and are committed to continue working with USAID to promote meaningful change in the country.
For more information about our work in Afghanistan, please feel free to explore our Web site. If you have any further questions, contact Martha James, director of external communications, at 202.775.7357.