For Immediate Release
Thursday, April 6, 2006
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN- The United States, which has already invested millions in the Afghan economy simply by purchasing goods and services on the local market, will promote even more such purchasing through a new program – “Afghan First.”
The United States, which has already invested millions in the Afghan economy simply by purchasing goods and services on the local market, will promote even more such purchasing through a new program – “Afghan First.”
The “Afghan First” concept was endorsed by the United States at the recent London Donor’s Conference. Under the program, the U.S. pledged to “increase procurement within Afghanistan of supplies for civilian and military activities…use Afghan material in the implementation of projects, in particular for infrastructure…and increasingly use Afghan national implementation partners and equally qualified local and expatriate Afghans.”
For example, USAID awarded more than $309, 274, 887 in 146 reconstruction contracts to Afghan firms since 2002. When “Afghan-American” firms are included, the figure rises to $450,000,000. USAID employs approximately 18,750 Afghans annually under these contracts that pay out a grand total of approximately $43,000,000 in wages. In addition, more than $1,393,300 was spent in fiscal year 2005 and more than $1,028,043 has already been spent on the purchase of local goods and services this year. More than half of USAID-Afghanistan employees are Afghan.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul has already spent more than $2.7 million on local purchases this year for everything from auto parts to packing and shipping services. Embassy policy requires that items and services ordered elsewhere only when not available locally. Local procurement is faster, easier, and often less expensive that purchasing from vendors outside Afghanistan.
U.S. funded counter narcotics eradication programs provide yet another boost to the local economy. Local-hire salaries, transportation purchases, fuel, leases, and waste disposal total Under one program alone, monthly expenditures for rent, facility management, telecommunications, and vehicle maintenance totals more than $59,519. In addition, more than $715,032 has also been obligated for Governor-led eradication programs in Afghanistan that require local procurement of labor, fuel, tractors, transport vehicles, and food services.
Last updated: September 17, 2014