Afghanistan to get $15.2bn in aid but has to tackle corruption

6 Oct 16

Governments around the world pledged $15.2bn in aid for Afghanistan until 2020 at an EU-hosted conference in Brussels yesterday.


Afghanistan's president Ashraf Ghani

Afghanistan's president Ashraf Ghani has vowed to uproot corruption


The amount is slightly less than the $4bn per year the international community pledged for the war-torn nation at a 2012 conference in Tokyo, but above the total of $12bn that had been expected.

Federica Mogherini, European Commission vice president, described it as a “very good day” for Afghanistan.

In return for the funds, the Afghan government will have to undertake an ambitious anti-corruption and institution building reform programme over the next four years.

Transparency International, which rates Afghanistan as the third most corrupt country in the world, said these reforms would need to be implemented quickly to protect the donated funds.

On the eve of the conference, the Afghan authorities also signed a deal with the EU agreeing to help the bloc return tens of thousands of asylum seekers to the war-torn country – a signal of the EU’s partial motivations for leading the international community’s response.

The bloc has denied that EU aid for Afghanistan was contingent on the deal being signed, although a leaked internal document from March shows that this was definitely, at one point, at least on the table.

The country remains heavily reliant on foreign aid, which makes up around 70% of its national budget every year.

The conference was organised to garner international support from over 70 attending governments amid a resurgence of the Taliban, 15 years after the militant group was first ousted.

About 42% of aid funds go on defence.

Mogherini stressed there would be “no donor fatigue” on Afghanistan, while the conference also examined rekindling stalled peace negotiations with other key regional players.

Other reforms the international community wants to see in Afghanistan include social and political changes, such as improved standards of living and rights for women, as well as electoral reform. 

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