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Widespread corruption in Afghanistan substantially undermines US efforts to rebuild the county

The report offers a number of recommendations for implementing a U.S. interagency anti-corruption strategy in Afghanistan

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FILE - Workers are seen at an area under construction at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. VOA
  • The report offers a number of recommendations for implementing a U.S. inter-agency anti-corruption strategy in Afghanistan.
  • Sopko’s report says corruption remains an enormous challenge to security, political stability, and development, and urges the U.S. mission to make anti-corruption efforts a top priority.
  • The corruption lens has got to be in place at the outset, and even before the outset, in the formulation of reconstruction and development strategy

Washington, September 15,2016: Widespread corruption in Afghanistan has substantially undermined U.S. efforts to rebuild the country, according to a report released Wednesday

The U.S. government’s Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko said corruption has fueled grievances against the Afghan government and channeled material support to the insurgency from the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Sopko’s report says corruption remains an enormous challenge to security, political stability, and development, and urges the U.S. mission to make anti-corruption efforts a top priority.

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The report offers a number of recommendations for implementing a U.S. interagency anti-corruption strategy in Afghanistan.

Although the United States injected tens of billions of dollars into the Afghan economy, it contributed to the growth of corruption by being slow to recognize the magnitude of the problem, the role of corrupt patronage networks, and the ways in which corruption threatened core U.S. goals. It said certain U.S. policies and practices exacerbated the problem.

‘Endemic’ problem

The report titled, “Corruption in Conflict: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan,” quoted Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who re-opened the U.S. Embassy in Kabul soon after the September 11, 2001, attacks and served again as ambassador in 2011-2012 (and who is a member of Broadcasting Board of Governors which oversees U.S. international broadcasting, including the Voice of America) as saying that “the ultimate point of failure for our efforts … wasn’t an insurgency. It was the weight of endemic corruption.”

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“The corruption lens has got to be in place at the outset, and even before the outset, in the formulation of reconstruction and development strategy, because once it gets to the level I saw, it’s somewhere between unbelievably hard and outright impossible to fix,” Crocker said. (VOA)

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Amazon Severs Relationships with Several Delivery Contractors in US

Amazon ends ties with several delivery contractors in US

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Amazon is severing relationships with several small delivery contractors across the US apparently due to "safety" concerns. PIxabay

Hundreds of people in the US face job losses as Amazon is severing relationships with several small delivery contractors across the US apparently due to “safety” concerns, the media reported.

While Amazon delivery partner Bear Down Logistics was cutting 400 jobs, Seattle-based Delivery Force was laying off 272 workers, according to the reports.

According to a report in GeekWire, Amazon said these firms were found short of meeting the safety or performance requirements.

In a bid to help entrepreneurs start delivery businesses, Amazon launched an initiative called Delivery Service Partners in 2018. Although they operate independently, the DSPs receive support and training from the e-commerce giant.

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Amazon said these USfirms were found short of meeting the safety or performance requirements. Pixabay

“Prior to launching the DSP programme to empower entrepreneurs to build their businesses with Amazon, we contracted with a number of small logistics companies,” Amazon was quoted as saying in a statement.

“Some of these companies have not met our bar for safety, performance or working conditions, and we’re in the process of exiting them from the programme. We are planning for there to be zero or very little net job loss in these communities because nearly all impacted employees of these companies will have an opportunity to move into other delivery driver roles with Amazon partners,” the statement added.

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Amazon is now delivering 50 per cent of packages itself, according to recent Morgan Stanley estimates reported by CNBC.

Global courier company FedEx last year decided not to renew its air shipping contract with Amazon. (IANS)