President Ashraf Ghani at a cabinet meeting on Monday assigned the Inspector General of the Presidential Palace to investigate alleged corruption in the spending of the coronavirus response budget, which is allocated from the development budget from the Afghan government to fight the viral disease.
The Afghan government has allocated $155.7 million for a coronavirus response and so far $36.7 million of the fund has been spent, according to the Ministry of Public Health.
The international community has so far pledged $700 million for coronavirus response to Afghanistan, government data shows.
The fund has been spent on procurement of health equipment, something that has been under criticism for alleged corruption.
“It was decided in the cabinet (meeting) that the Presidential Palace inspector should assess all accusations and allegations of corruption in the coronavirus response budget spending, and inform the people about the details of the expenses of the money that has been allocated by the Afghan government for the coronavirus response in different provinces,” presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.
Lawmakers at a session on Monday, however, said that millions of afghanis have been “embezzled” under the pretext of fighting the coronavirus.
“There is corruption in the Ministry of Public Health and the fund has been divided between officials,” said MP Shahpoor Hassanzoi.
“The leadership of the Ministry of Public Health is playing with people’s lives and health in collaboration with economic mafia,” said MP Nilofar Jalali Kofi.