The emaciated young girl in the picture is a patient at the Mirwais Hospital in Kandahar City, Afghanistan. She is but one of many supposed beneficiaries of approximately $5 million contributed by Canada for supplies, food, and infrastructure at the hospital. If the girl seems a little underwhelmed, she can be forgiven. You see, no one at the Mirwais Hospital can confirm that any of Canada's aid money (given to the Red Cross via CIDA) has ever been received.
Video evidence collected by the Senlis Council has documented child starvation and a largely dysfunctional hospital, lacking in beds, equipment, medications and staff. According to Norine MacDonald, lead researcher for the Senlis Council: "We could not find evidence of CIDA's work or CIDA-funded work at the hospital. We were not able to find the maternity project, or evidence of the $5 million that CIDA says it has given".
Bev Oda, deftly picking up the reins of ineptitude from Josee Verner, has replied merely that she doesn't have those concerns "at all". Demonstrating that peculiar blend of incompetence and arrogance, she remains convinced that "progress" is being made. I don't mean to nitpick here, but wouldn't it be in the government's interest to ensure that Canadian money isn't being funneled directly into the pockets of corrupt administrators and Afghan officials? Don't we owe at least that much to the innocent victims of the NATO misadventure in Afghanistan?