Aid reduction a possibility at Geneva conference

KABUL (TOLOnews): Abdallah Al Dardari, UNDP’s Resident Representative in Afghanistan, has said that the international donors are expected to reduce their financial assistance to Afghanistan in the upcoming conference on Afghanistan in Geneva.

In an interview with TOLOnews, the UNDP official said the key factor of a possible aid reduction is rooted in the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected the economies of the donor nations. He stated that the Afghan government has also realized the fact that the aid to Afghanistan will not be like the past.

“Aid will not take place as per before. Those days are over. The days of unlimited aid to Afghanistan are over and by the way, it could be a good thing. A reduction in resources requires all of us, government, UN or donors to make sure that every dollar counts,” Al Dardari said.

He said that most of the revenues from the imports sector of Afghanistan are not flowing to the national treasury.

According to him, the Afghan government by fighting corruption and attracting investments in the mining sector can increase its revenues from domestic sources.

The Afghan Ministry of Finance said that so far it is not confirmed that the donors will reduce their assistance to Afghanistan.

“No meeting was held and nothing was said anywhere that the international community’s assistance to Afghanistan will reduce,” said Shamroz Khan Masjidi, spokesman for the Ministry of Finance.

Experts said the Afghan government needs to fight corruption to get more assistance from the international community.

“Afghanistan has three options ahead of it. First, it needs to re-attract the focus of the international community. Secondly, it can apply for long term loans and ensure better management. And the third option is peace with the Taliban, which will see a significant reduction in the cost of the war and it will also increase revenues,” said Khawja Fahim Abbasi, an economist.

Recently however the UNDP said that Afghanistan was still in need of another 30 percent additional aid from the international community to fix its economic condition.

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The Frontier Post

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