In early July 2012, international donors attended a conference in Tokyo to discuss investment pledges for Afghanistan. Donors have promised USD 16 billion over the next four years, but have demanded that reforms to combat corruption be undertaken. The Afghan central bank has estimated that at least USD 6 billion a year in new investment from foreign donors will be needed to foster economic growth over the next decade.
Since 2002, Afghanistan has received nearly USD 60 billion in civilian aid. Representatives from at least eighty countries and international aid organisations, including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank attended the meeting. It was organised because NATO-led combat troops are due to leave by the end of 2014, and Afghan officials will soon be in charge of security.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has stressed that aggressive action needs to take place to promote reforms to fight corruption, improve governance, strengthen the rule of law and increase access to economic opportunities for all Afghans, especially for women. Afghanistan is one of the world’s ten poorest countries. Three quarters of the country’s population is illiterate and the average person earns USD 350 a year.
1. What is the position of the Commission in relation to the development aid to Afghanistan pledged by international donors on 8 July?
2. How much funding has the EU earmarked in Afghanistan over the next four years for fighting corruption, improving governance, strengthening the rule of law and increasing access to economic opportunities?
3. What is the assessment of the Commission regarding the efficacy of EU aid given to Afghanistan since 2002?