51pc of aid spent on security forces
KABUL (PAN): Of the $69 billion (3.3 trillion afghanis) pledged in aid by the international community, the Afghan government has received and spent $57 billion over the past decade, the minister of economy said on Tuesday.
Fifty-one percent of the foreign aid was spent on the security sector and the rest on agriculture, rural rehabilitation and development, infrastructure, health, education and good governance, Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal said.
Releasing the annual report on the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) for 2010, the minister said 18 percent of the aid was spent through the national budget and the remainder on uplift schemes according to the demand of the government or donors.
One main obstacle to ANDS implementation was the huge allocation to the security sector and under-funded government budget, the minister said.
Aimed at improving security, economic development and poverty reduction, the five-year strategy was prepared in 2008. Lack of professionalism and security threats are among the hurdles to its implementation.
Arghandiwal said other impediments included widespread unemployment, lack of funds for securing development projects implemented by foreigners and the absence of a mechanism to monitor the use of funds.
In order to effectively implement the strategy, he stressed the need for a consultative board to analyse the country's economic system, frame a comprehensive policy and advise the government on important issues.
He also called for a long-term economic plan, administrative reforms, greater coordination between the government and the private sector and encouragement of investments.
He said the report suggested a thorough review of the banking sector and the creation of Afghanistan Development Bank, which would support long-term investment.
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