Afghanistan has been the focus of large international aid and security investments since the US-led military intervention of 2001. There have been many major milestones for Afghanistan in 2014, and the country is now on the cusp of what has been termed the ‘Transformation Decade’ spanning from 2015 to 2024. This period of transition brings with it uncertainty about the future, including the nature of international donor support and the ability of the Afghan state and economy to meet its financing needs.
This report tracks three major areas of international spending that have a direct bearing on the daily lives of Afghan people: humanitarian, development and security spending. It also considers the domestic economic outlook and the choices donors face in recalibrating their partnerships and investments to protect and build on hard-won development and security gains made since 2001.
While Afghanistan faces major challenges at the outset of the Transformation Decade, it is within the power of international donor governments to ensure that predictable external financing support to meet humanitarian, development and security needs is not one of them. In addition, there are opportunities for investments to have a greater emphasis on strengthening accountability, with a focus on pro-poor support and resilience building to improve outcomes for Afghan citizens.
International donors, primarily those involved in the military intervention, have spent significant sums in Afghanistan since 2001. Learning from their involvement over the past 13 years, and paying attention to the particular challenges, needs, and risks of people in Afghanistan at the present juncture, they now have the chance to make conscious and concerted choices to:
- Ensure predictable and sustained support to both development and the security sector
- Focus on pro-poor development investments and building resilience of populations vulnerable to risk of crisis and disaster
- Continue to support needs-based principled humanitarian response
- Strengthen accountability to reduce the risk of international investments fuelling corruption and conflict.
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