Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

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A Rift over Afghan Aid Imperils Prospects for Peace

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USIP, 16 September 2019

In the context of Barnett Rubin’s call not to abandon Afghanistan in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, also read this background on pressure on aid for Afghanistan:

… international discussions continue on the economic aid that will be vital to stabilizing Afghanistan under any peace deal. Yet the Afghan government has been mostly absent from this dialogue, an exclusion exemplified this week by a meeting of the country’s main donors to strategize on aid—with Afghan officials left out. (…)

This disconnect has multiple roots but is driven to a large extent by the government’s abrupt shuffling of officials in key ministries, and by policy changes that raise fears of a more politicized approach to economic governance, plus risks of increased corruption. (…)

In 15 years of such high-level meetings, the government has made its presentations on growth and development jointly with the World Bank. But this time, the government presented a unilateral report as the World Bank circulated a separate document. The separate presentations most likely reflected differences over the country’s growth prospects or other issues, but this was the first time such differences could not be bridged to achieve a joint statement.