• Tokyo - an Economic Milestone: BAAG Briefing Paper on Aid Effectiveness

Tokyo - an Economic Milestone: BAAG Briefing Paper on Aid Effectiveness

04 July 2012

This week's international donors' conference on Afghanistan represents a crucial economic milestone for one of the poorest countries in the world.

Representatives of more than 70 countries gather in Tokyo on July 8 to decide how much aid to commit to Afghanistan after 2014, when the bulk of foreign forces will have withdrawn from the country.  Decisions taken in Tokyo this Sunday will affect Afghans' lives for more than a decade to come.

Since 2001, tens of billions of dollars of international assistance has been poured into Afghanistan, transforming the lives of millions of people, particularly in terms of access to basic services such as education and healthcare.

But aid delivery has often been flawed, weakening its reach and impact.  Aid has been used to promote political or military ends, wasted because of poor co-ordination or lack of accountability, or lost to rampant corruption.  Rural areas have often been neglected.  Time and time again, long term development needs have been forced to take a back seat to security spending.

As a result, hard-won development gains remain fragile and reversible.

Tokyo offers a unique opportunity for donors to consolidate their successes, redress the shortcomings of the past and help put the Afghan economy on a firm footing for the future.

The paper reviews aid effectiveness to date and examines barriers to aid effectiveness and development, including uneven distribution and corruption.  It focuses on future challenges, including reductions in military-linked spending after 2014, and ways of ensuring that future aid can be handled efficiently and effectively.

It stresses the need to make aid local, relevant and effective, diversify the economy, provide rural employment and improve the economic situation of women.  And it calls on the international community to take urgent steps to ensure that Afghanistan's vast untapped mineral and energy resources are developed and managed responsibly.

Click here to read the full report