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'Three-fourths of aid doesn't reach Afghan Govt'

The World Bank has said that since the aid doesn't reach Kabul, it hinders the Govt's ability to plan a budget and set priorities.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2006 14:56 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Three-quarters of foreign aid to Afghanistan does not go to the government, which hinders its ability to plan a budget and set priorities, the World Bank has said.

In a report issued in preparation for a January 31 London Conference on Afghanistan on Monday, the bank urged donors to direct more of their aid to the government instead of non- governmental organisations. That would help ensure budget sustainability and support the country's long-term development, the report said.

"Experience demonstrates that channeling aid through the government is more cost-effective," said Alastair McKenzie, the bank's country director for Afghanistan.

"To take one example, a basic package of health services contracted outside government channels can be 50 per cent more expensive than the package contracted by the government on a competitive basis."

In addition, he said serving the government increases its credibility as it demonstrates its ability to oversee services and become accountable for results to its people and the newly elected parliament.

The report said Afghanistan has made considerable progress as it struggles to recover from more than two decades of war and economic neglect.

Among the achievements noted were "rapid economic growth, unprecedented primary school enrollments, rehabilitation of major highways, a new and stable currency, promulgation of a new constitution, presidential and parliamentary elections, return of refugees and demobilisation of militias.

First Published: Jan 23, 2006 14:56 IST