In Afghanistan 90 % of public money comes from international aid, illustrating the high levels of both need and aid dependency in the country. The EU is one of Afghanistan's main donors of development aid and humanitarian assistance. Between 2002 and 2007, direct Community aid accounted for 70 % (€970 m) of the total, the remaining 30% being covered by indirect aid managed by international organisations (€422 m).
Since the signing of the Pact for Afghanistan in early 2006, important progress has been made in the allocation of aid by donor countries, making it possible to reduce duplication of expenditure and cut corruption. Key advances made include those registered in health, education and infrastructure (especially roads).
Lack of coordination and fraud
In spite of these advances, MEPs highlight the "lack of coordination "between donor countries at international level. The Committee insists that the Commission "tackle the worrying coordination shortcomings regarding EU financial assistance to Afghanistan not only between Member States and it but also amongst Member States".
The committee report stresses the need for stronger monitoring of the implementation of EU development cooperation, and calls for the UN and other international organisations which manage EU funds to cooperate fully with the ECA and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), as well as with the UN Joint Inspection Unit.
Drawing attention to Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999, Parliament insists that all information on cases of fraud or severe irregularities having an impact on EU funds be forwarded as a matter of urgency to OLAF.
Publicising EU activities and other measures
MEPs regret the near-total absence of support from the Member States for its project identification efforts, and consider it essential to boost the visibility of the Union's actions both locally and in the eyes of the European public.
Looking to the future, Parliament believes that further efforts are required as regards international assistance in order to support implementation of the Afghan national development strategy and phase-in improved coordination and more efficient methods in the activation of the development priorities as defined by the Afghans themselves.
The committee report also encourages the Commission, in cooperation with the Member States, to "intervene more forcefully in order to tackle the key problems affecting daily life, health, security and access to public services and basic education".