Home / Op/Ed / Ineffectiveness of Foreign Aid in Afghanistan
Ineffectiveness of foreign aid in Afghanistan

Ineffectiveness of Foreign Aid in Afghanistan

The issue of attracting financial assistance from foreign countries and organizations to rebuild the economic infrastructure and state-building in Afghanistan has been one of the most important and worrying topics for the last two decades. If in the early days of the new political arena and the new government, the most important concern of all was the attraction of financial aid, today, in addition to that, not wasting that aid is also one of the most serious concerns.
Since 2002, hundreds of billions of dollars have been donated by foreign countries and organizations to rebuild Afghanistan, but one of the most serious criticisms is that they are being wasted or, in other words, not generating desired results. The multi-billion-dollar aid to Afghanistan was expected to be bring about more tangible changes, but little has changed on ground.
Sixty-six countries and thirty-two international organizations recently announced their financial assistance and commitments for the next four years in Afghanistan at the Geneva International Conference. The aid is estimated at about $ 13 billion. Aid from the international community has dropped by 15% since the 2016 conference in Brussels. The Conference, which is held every four years on the International Community’s Assessment and Financial Commitments for Afghanistan, concluded on the evening of 24th November, with the issuance of a 19-point joint declaration.
The international community called for a comprehensive and meaningful peace process involving women, youth, and racial, religious, and other minority groups. They affirmed that any political agreement must protect the rights of all Afghans, including women, youth and minorities.
Representatives of most donor countries to Afghanistan at the conference called for the immediate establishment of a ceasefire, the continuation of peace talks, the preservation of the achievements of the last two decades, especially in the field of rights, the achievements in the field of women and children, and above all a serious fight against corruption. They mentioned that fighting corruption was the main condition for continuation of their aid to the country.
Why has financial aid to Afghanistan not been effective?
The hypothesis that can now be put forward is that the fundamental reason for the ineffectiveness of foreign aid to Afghanistan is the lack of management within government institutions. According to the theories of development experts, a country can achieve development and reconstruction that has two important elements; money and expert manpower to manage the process.
In this way, it can be seen that Afghanistan had a huge amount of money and financial resources and was deposited in its treasury by foreign countries and organizations, but in terms of specialized manpower, it is limping.
Afghanistan has been a backward and underdeveloped country from the beginning. That is, if the devastating wars and battles that took place over several decades are ignored, Afghanistan would still be a backward and underdeveloped country. Imperial dynasties and authoritarian and patrimonial governments have long sought to maintain power and rule over the people, not to develop the country. Thus, if there had been no war and the developments of the 1960s and 1970s, Afghanistan would have been still backward and poor.
After wars and instability, the United States committed itself to state-building and rebuilding Afghanistan’s economic infrastructure by dismantling the Taliban that had imposed its bitter oppression on the people. This phase created optimism. US aid has been pouring in since 2002. The Afghan government had a lot of financial assistance, but it suffered due to the lack of an efficient system capable of optimally managing the disbursed aid. Manpower was not specialized and outstanding, or such manpower was not hired by the government to bring the system out of inefficiency and make it an efficient and effective system. It is clear that in the absence of sound management, money is wasted without prioritization.
Therefore, the ineffectiveness of financial aid to Afghanistan can be attributed to the lack of sound management in the Afghan governments. The last two governments under the leadership of Ashraf Ghani are the main examples. Ghani during the early years of National Unity Government (NUG) promised that the government would investigate the corruption charges on the most influential people in the system, but later years should that he had only promises to offer. Even he himself and Arg were later charged of corruption and favoritism, which continues even today. Unless the government is able to start from its own self and its own system, there is no hope that corruption would be eradicated from Afghan society as a whole.
(Sahar News)

Check Also

Increasing security concerns in Kabul

Increasing Security Concerns in Kabul

The increase in target killing, armed robberies and killings of innocent civilians has infuriated the …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *