Data from the Ministry of Public Health shows that so far $36.7 million has been spent for the coronavirus response out of a total of $155.7 million allocated by the government for this purpose.
The data shows that $38 million has been spent by foreign organizations for coronavirus response in the country.
The majority of this amount has been used for the purchase of health equipment and the construction and upkeep of hospitals, according to the ministry.
“Another $30.8 million will be spent through our donors on fighting the coronavirus,” said Hafizullah Saadat, head of the finance department of the Ministry of Public Health.
The number of positive cases of the coronavirus is nearing 30,000, according to the data provided by the Ministry of Public Health. There is criticism about the way the fund has been spent so far.
On Tuesday, the Attorney General’s Office in a statement said an employee of the Ministry of Public Health was arrested on charges of taking a bribe of $80,000.
“We have a few hospitals under construction (in Herat) and their work is yet to be completed,” said Jahantab Tahiri, member of Herat provincial council.
A monitoring organization in Kabul has found that there has been lack of transparency in the distribution of the coronavirus response fund, due to limitations on monitoring by the ministry's leadership.
“The Ministry of Public health has faced problems within its management and is faced with problems at its leadership level,” said Nasir Taimuri, a researcher at Integrity Watch Afghanistan.
The only government COVID-19 treatment center in Kabul is the Afghan-Japan Hospital, other government health facilities are just isolation centers.
Two residents of Khost province who visited the provincial COVID-19 center in Khost painted a bleak picture of the healthcare situation.
“There is one hospital in Khost and it has neither oxygen nor other facilities. We spent 5,000 afghanis for ambulance fare and when we came there, they don’t have medicine or doctors -- all of them are nurses,” said Esmatullah, a Khost resident.
“Where does this money go and how is it spent and why do the people not see the results?” asked Rashid, a Kabul resident.
The ministry also rejected the recent Pajhwok news report about the smuggling of ventilators to Pakistan, and said that it has 225 active ventilators in government hospitals. The ministry said that at least 600 ventilators have been purchased in Germany and will be brought to the country in the near future.