The Secretary of State for International Development has agreed to allocate an additional un-earmarked £35 million to the ARTF for 2005/06 in support for the Government of Afghanistan's Budget.
1. The ARTF is a multi-donor trust fund set up by the World Bank in 2002 to coordinate donor funding to the Government of Afghanistan's recurrent costs and selected reconstruction activities. It supports Afghanistan's budget and applies strict fiduciary monitoring to these expenditures.
2. The purpose of the ARTF is to coordinate funding for reconstruction in line with agreed national priorities. Its objectives are: i) to promote transparency and accountability of reconstruction assistance; ii) to help reinforce the national budget as the vehicle for promoting alignment of the reconstruction programme with national objectives; iii) to reduce the burden on limited Government capacity, while promoting capacity building over time; and iv) to provide a suitable instrument to help fund the essential recurrent budgetary expenditures required for the Government to function effectively.
3. To date, 85% of ARTF funds disbursed have been used for recurrent costs. From 2002-5 the ARTF has funded about 70% of the Government of Afghanistan's recurrent expenditure (not including security, which is ineligible). Nearly 40% of the Operating Budget is spent on social services.
4. There are 25 donors to the ARTF; the UK is the largest, having contributed 19% ($165m out of $852m) of total funds paid in over the Afghan financial years 2002-5. The other big donors are the US, the EC, the Netherlands and Canada.
5. An independent multi-donor evaluation of the ARTF presented at the Afghanistan Development Forum on 5 April 2005 is very positive. It found that the ARTF has responded well to the Government of Afghanistan's top priority - a single, predictable, accountable source of untied funding for the recurrent budget.
References and Links
6. For further details on the ARTF please refer to www.worldbank.org/