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European donors are committed to Afghanistan. Yet, given the complex challenges that lie ahead donor commitments cannot be taken for granted. Despite the urgent need for more effective management of development cooperation and humanitarian aid and the procedural changes introduced by the TMAF, European donors still lack a common voice. Managing complexity and uncertainty  through improved donor coordination will be key in the decade of transformation.

 

 

 

Challenges

The current state of development in Afghanistan is characterized by dependence on foreign funding, looming instability, weak governance and Afghans’ fear of being abandoned after withdrawal of foreign troops in 2014.

 

The political system in Afghanistan is in a fragile state. Most donors have already established free and fair presidential elections in 2014 as a precondition for funding future development cooperation initiatives. Corruption needs to be urgently addressed and the security situation has worsened in the last few years.

 

While a political solution is essential for achieving stability, the peace process with the Taliban has stalled and other insurgent groups are reluctant to join it.

 

Afghan economy faces a dire outlook.  Afghanistan is currently ranked 168th out of 185 economies on the World Bank Ranking, and continues to be the lowest in South Asia.In 2012, the Afghan government revenue decreased to $1.7 billion from $2 billion in 2011.The budget for fiscal year 2013 totals $6.8 billion, with domestic revenues of $2.5 billion and donor grants of $4.1 billion.  While in 2012 donors committed over $16 billion through 2015 to support a roadmap designed to help Afghanistan achieve economic self-reliance by 2024, the WB projects that bridging the financing gap in 2014–15 requires aid at 40% of GDP, gradually decreasing to 25% in 2021–22.

 

Under these conditions, extraction of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, assessed at over $1trillion, is unlikely to enhance Afghan living standards in the short run

 

Afghanistan cannot reach any of the Millennium Development Goals before 2020, conflict and natural disasters pose constant risks.

 

Yet the National Risk and Vulnerability Assessment for Afghanistan notes several areas of progress. The average annual per capita income in Afghanistan increased from around $175 to roughly $530 from 2002 to 2011. Under 5 child mortality has decreased from more than 250 per 1,000 children in 2001 to 161 in 2008. The number of female child marriages (under 15) has fallen from 11% to 3% and the maternal mortality ratio (maternal deaths per 100,000 live births) has decreased from 1,000 in 2000 to 460 in 2010.  There is improvement in the situation of Afghan women after the fall of the Taliban and student enrolment too has increased since 2001.  

 

Donors revealed specific successes in education, health and infrastructure, such as the French Medical Institute for Children in Kabul, EU water projects, Danish and Dutch human rights efforts and Norwegian progress in modernizing the health sector in Faryab province, to name a few.

 

 

 

 

 

Read the full ENNA/Scensei  report : ENNA Report European Donors 2013  :

                                                     European Development Cooperation and Humanitarian aid engagement in Afghanistan - Trends, challenges and opportunities

 

Scensei report : check website