The United Kingdom signs a 10 year Development Partnership Arrangement with Afghanistan as part of £500 million in reconstruction assistance over the next three years
A major international conference on Afghanistan on 31 January -1 February was opened by the Prime Minister, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in front of 60 delegations, mostly headed by Foreign Ministers.
The conference had three aims:
- to launch the Afghanistan Compact, which provides the framework for international community engagement in Afghanistan for the next five years.
- to provide an opportunity for the Government of Afghanistan to present its Interim National Development Strategy for accelerating development, increasing security, tackling the drugs trade, and strengthening governance, with a focus on promoting economic growth and reducing poverty.
- to ensure the Government of Afghanistan has adequate resources to meet its domestic ambitions and international commitments.
Before the conference began the Prime Minister and Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed a ten-Year Development Partnership Arrangement (as pictured above). The purpose of the Development Partnership Arrangement (DPA) is to reaffirm the UK Government's long-term commitment to the Afghan Government's development plans, and set out the nature of this arrangement.
Afghanistan has achieved good progress since the fall of the Taliban in 2001 under a Government committed to reducing poverty. But as a new democracy, emerging from conflict and constrained by weak capacity, low revenue and a dominant narcotics industry, Afghanistan risks regressing without long-term commitment from the international community. A 10-year DPA will help build the Afghan Government's confidence and further strengthen its commitment to reducing poverty.
The DPA covers =A3330 million of UK commitments on international development assistance provided through the Department for International Development (DFID). The DPA also transparently sets out Afghan Government commitments needed for DFID to continue with substantial long-term development support. These include:
- commitments on reducing poverty and the Millennium Development Goals
- respecting human rights and other relevant international obligations, and
- strengthening financial management and accountability, which reduces the risk of funds being misused through weak administration or corruption.
The DPA specifies what each Government will commit to, and what happens if the Afghan Government is in breach of a commitment. These commitments should help to strengthen the Afghan Government's planning and budgeting through more effective delivery and use of aid, resulting in greater impact on poverty.
Through the DPA, the UK Government is outlining an indicative financial commitment of =A3330 million from DFID for 2006-9, as part of a larger UK spend in Afghanistan of some =A3500 million over a period of three years. DFID is committing to give the Afghan Government aid figures on a three-year rolling basis in future years to increase funding predictability; and to channel at least 50% of its funding through the Government's budget, in order to strengthen state capacity and institutions.