Economy

  • Understanding the impact of illicit economies in Afghanistan's Development

    A summary report of the APPG Afghanistan briefing and discussion on the role illicit economies play in Afghanistan's development. Core themes include the drug economy, mining, and migration.

    PDF icon BAAG_IllicitEconom_Final.pdf
  • Global Witness: Afghanistan, lapis lazuli & the battle for mineral wealth, June 2016

    Global Witness's two year investigation reveals that lapiz lazuli mines in the northeastern province of Badakhshan are a major source of conflict and grievance, supplying millions of dollars of funding to armed groups, insurgents, and strongmen, and providing a tiny fraction of the benefit they should to the Afghan people.  Mining is implicated in violence from Balkh to Helmand. Nationally, it is thought to be the Taliban’s second largest source of revenue, while contributing less than 1% of state income in 2013. Armed groups made an estimated $12m from lapis in 2015.

    PDF icon GW war_in_the_treasury_mr1.pdf
  • AREU: A balancing act for extractive sector governance, May 2016

    Today, most extractive sector activities in Afghanistan are artisanal, small-, or medium-scale and up to 10,000 deposits remain out of government control. This is linked with continuing conflict and violence in the country, resulting in significant revenue losses from illegal extraction. On the other hand, this report highlights the practical challenges faced by civil society to play their role in improving transparency, accountability, and equitable sharing of the sector’s benefits include an unstable legal framework characterised by rushed development because of pressure to generate revenues internally, decreasing political will to implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, and variable and decreasing role of CSOs.

    PDF icon AREU A Balancing Act for Extractive Sector Governance.pdf
  • USIP: What can be done to revive Afghanistan's economy?, February 2016

    Reviving the Afghan economy during a time of intensifying violent conflict, declining external financial aid, and ongoing political uncertainty and dysfunction will be extremely challenging. But the country cannot wait for these entrenched problems to be addressed. While keeping expectations modest, this report proposes some targeted, near-term measures to increase confidence and stimulate the economy. 

    PDF icon USIP-What-Can-Be-Done-to-Revive-Afghanistans-Economy Feb16.pdf
  • UNAMA: The Stolen Lands of Afghanistan & its People, March 2015

    The second in a series of three reports UNAMA's report focuses on how state lands are distributed. This paper is the result of a desktop review and joint research by the UNAMA Rule of Law Unit (RoL) and the Civil Affairs Unit (CAU) in seven provinces—Kabul, Nangarhar, Kunduz, Balkh, Herat, Gardez, and Kandahar.This report identifies, assesses, and compares the legal framework and existing land distribution practices, and proposes specific recommendations to address overarching challenges to this system.

    PDF icon UNAMA_State_Land_Distribution_System_March15.pdf
  • Development Initiatives: An Act of Faith - humanitarian financing & Zakat, March 2015

    Discussions abound regarding the increasing scale of humanitarian crises and the financing gaps these face. One potentially significant area of charitable giving that has received relatively little attention in discussions on the current humanitarian financing crisis is faith-based giving, and Islamic financing in particular. An Act of Faith explores the purpose, scale and potential of Zakat – one of the main tools of Islamic social financing – for financing humanitarian response. It provides a basis on which to open up discussions around how that potential might be maximised – both by increasing the overall volume of Zakat collected (rather than redirecting existing funds) and improving the mechanisms available to channel Zakat to the humanitarian response.

    PDF icon DevInt-Zakat_report_V9a.pdf, PDF icon Zakat beneficiaries.pdf
  • Development Initiatives: Afghanistan beyond 2014, Aid & the Transformation Decade, November 2014

    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. 

    PDF icon DevelopInit Afghanistan Beyond 2104.pdf
  • CSJWG: Position Paper for London Conference, November 2014

    Ahead of the London Conference on Afghanistan, the Civil Society Joint Working Group (CSJWG), a membership network of local, community and grass-roots Afghan civil society organisations, prepared the paper below.  It highlights their review of the current situation, past achievements and future needs in the following thematic sections: Democratic reform; Governance, Rule of law and Human Rights; Government revenues, Budget execution and Sub-national Governance; Economic growth and Development; Continued partnership and Aid effectiveness; the Role of civil society.  

    PDF icon Civil-society-position-paper-london-conf-23Nov2014.pdf
  • Harakat: Private sector reform priorities for London Conference, November 2014

    Harakat is an independent, non-profit grant making organisation which aims to improve Afghanistan's business environment.  In October 2014 they organised in Kabul a large-scale workshop of Afghan business men and women to consider the private sector's priority reform recommendations to the new government. 47 recommendations came out of the workshop which were refined into 11 priority requests to be tabled at the private sector event of the London Conference.  These include 'one stop shops' for business owners to manage their business administration needs, increasing the availability of financing, develop policies and frameworks for public private partnerships and develop a national railway system. 

    PDF icon Harakat-Private Sector Reform Priorities for London Conference Nov14.pdf
  • Global Witness: Letter to President of Afghanistan regarding natural resources, October 2014

    Global Witness have long campaigned for stronger governance of Afghanistan's natural resources - seen by many as a key to the country's financial development but equally posing threats to corruption and continued insecurity.  Ahead of the London Conference on Afghanistan (4th December 2014), they wrote letters to the co-hosts, President Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister David Cameron.  These letters explain the issues that could arise from current legislation and asks for commitment to the reform of these.  

    File 20141016 Tokyo CSO letter draft to President Ghani.docx
  • AREU: Rural Livelihoods and Opium Poppy Dynamics, September 2014

    The suppression of opium production in Afghanistan has been a high priority for the international community in the last decade.  However, 2013 saw a 150% increase in poppy cultivation compared to 2000.  AREU's (Afghanistan Research & Evaluation Unit) report looks at 4 provinces tackling the problem. Some areas have seen farmers shift to alternative crops for economic, political or governance reasons.  Others have seen the shift due to coercive measures such as the threat of arrest or forced eradication of crops.  The rapidly changing political, security and economic environment will have a profound impact on narcotics and counternarcotics (and vice versa) in the years ahead.

    PDF icon AREU Despair or Hope Web Version.pdf
  • Global Witness: Letter to NATO Secretary General regarding Afghanistan's natural resources governance, August 2014

    Global Witness and a coalition of Afghan and international civil society organisations, including BAAG, have written to the NATO Secretary General calling for a focus on natural resources governance in the upcoming September NATO summit.  With the international community placing high hopes on natural resources extraction to improve Afghanistan's economy, there are concerns that the current law, approved this month by President Karzai, does not go far enough to ensure accountability and transparency, and such ommissions may provide opportunities for increased insurgent activity in the sector. 

    PDF icon Global Witness CSO NATO Letter 20140821.pdf
  • IMC: Livelihoods needs assessment at returnee sites, August 2014

    IMC - the International Medical Corp - has long worked in the settlements for Afghan returnees in the Eastern region.  From 2010 to 2012 they delivered vocational training and literacy programmes. In order to effectively respond to the community’s current needs, IMC initiated a focus group discussion in the returnee sites of Nangarhar and Kunar.  Their findings revealed that returnees in the assessed sites have a very low income (e.g. between $70-80 a month), which has further dropped due to insecurity and election dilemma.  Due to a lack of jobs, the returnees’ food intake is low and there are cases where children have dropped out of school and are now engaged in child labor.  Overall, most of the returnees believe they had a better life while they were living as refugees in Pakistan compared to living in their own country.

    PDF icon IMC returnee livelihoods assessment Afghanistan.pdf
  • E-International Relations: Aid Rentierism & State Building in Afghanistan, May 2014

    PhD student Sarajuddin Isar provides analysis on how the Afghan government's dependence on international aid has adversely affected its state building efforts.

    PDF icon Sarajuddin, A Blessing or a Curse.pdf
  • Global Witness: Analysing Afghanistan's Draft Mining Law, November 2013

    Published as Afghanistan's parliament meet to discuss the proposed mining law, Global Witness's report highlights several areas of concern in the draft.  These include no provision prohibiting illegal armed groups, militias or members of the national army from benefiting from mining; lack of safeguards against corruption in the bidding process for mining concessions; provisions that appear to give companies an unlimited right to use water, potentially endangering thousands of livelihoods and creating a huge risk of local conflict; and dispute resolution and local employment clauses which could exclude local communities.  Read the report here. 

    PDF icon SHAKEY_FOUNDATION_GW.pdf

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