Afghanistan fact sheet Jan 2003

Situation Report
Originally published

The international community has provided some $1.8 billion to Afghanistan in 2002 for humanitarian and reconstruction activities. The UK made a five-year pledge of £200 million bilateral assistance at the Tokyo Conference in January 2002. £55 million has been disbursed this financial year, to date. The UK also provides significant levels of multilateral assistance through our contributions to the UN, European Commission (19% of €1 billion over 5 years) and development banks.

Sector Progress Examples of UK assistance
Economy - A new currency has been issued
- A new financial payments system is being established
- Customs (a major source of potential revenue) reform is underway
Technical assistance through the Adam Smith Institute to the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank, including work on the new currency and budget.
Political - A broad-based Transitional Authority was elected by a traditional Loya Jirga in July 2002.
- Full democratic elections are scheduled for 2004.
- 12.5% of delegates at the Loya Jirga in 2002 were women
£0.5 million to the UN for the Loya Jirga
Health - Polio has almost been eradicated.
- 9 million children have been vaccinated against measles, preventing an estimated 30,000 deaths
£2 million to WHO this financial year for public health services and disease control and policy assistance to the Ministry of Health.
Education - 3 million children have returned to school since the fall of the Taliban.
- There are now 70,000 teachers (a third of whom are women) and 6,500 schools.
- Girls make up 30% of school children.
- WFP provides food for education to encourage enrolment and attendance.
- 20,000 students sat university entrance exams in March 2002.
Assistance through UNICEF for their Back to School Campaign which encouraged children to register as well as provided teaching materials. Through the UN and NGOs we have supported the refurbishment of schools throughout Afghanistan.
Livelihoods - The 2002 harvest saw grain production 80% higher than in 2001. But more than 4m Afghans remain vulnerable and, without food security. Support to the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation to set up a Livelihoods and Vulnerability Unit.
Counter-narcotics - President Karzai has committed himself to eradicating poppy cultivation from Afghanistan.
- The 2002 eradication and compensation scheme destroyed around 25% of the poppy crop.
UK is lead nation on counter-narcotics and is working with Afghan authorities to develop a comprehensive strategy, covering law enforcement as well as alternative livelihoods. Co-funding a rural livelihoods project in drug-producing areas of Badakshan Province, implemented by the Aga Khan Development Network.
Infrastructure - International donor funding for the refurbishment of the Kabul-Kandahar-Herat road, Kabul-Jalalabad road, Pakistan border to Jalalabad road.
- World Bank supporting the rebuilding of Kabul power station and airport.
Security - Joint civil-military provincial reconstruction teams are in the process of being established throughout Afghanistan to spread the "ISAF effect" beyond Kabul.
- Karzai has issued a decree in December 2002 setting out plans for a multi-ethnic Afghan National Army.
HMG has committed £18 million from Global Conflict Prevention Pool to security sector reform (£1 million to the Human Rights Commission, £10 million for the interim payment of army salaries to the newly trained force). Secondment of a DDR (Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration) expert to UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan) in Kabul.£1.8 million for mine action programmes.
Humanitarian - 60% of families were supported with food aid from October 2001 to March 2002. £11 million to the World Food Programme. £2 million to UN Operations to help with snow clearance this winter.
Refugees/IDPs - 1.8 million refugees have returned to Afghanistan mainly from Pakistan and Iran.
- 400,000 internally displaced people have returned home
£7 million to UNHCR; £4.5 million to the IOM; £1 million to UNICEF.


DFID focuses its technical assistance in the areas below where we have significant expertise and in order to complement the efforts of other international donors who are heavily involved in areas such as health, education and infrastructure. We provide financial assistance in co-ordination with other donors through multilateral channels, such as the UN, as well as through trust fund arrangements, such as the World Bank managed Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund.

Humanitarian needs

Accurate data are lacking but it is estimated that Afghanistan's per capita GDP ranges between $150-180. An estimated 60-80% of the population (up to 26 million) lives on less than £1 a day or consumes less than the minimum daily calorific requirement. Over 4 million Afghans still depend on food aid. We must ensure that as focus shifts to longer-term reconstruction we continue to address ongoing humanitarian needs. An additional 1.2 million refugees and 300,000 IDPs are expected to return home in 2003.

Financial Management

We will continue to provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank to support the establishment of sound financial management, budgeting and accountability.

Public Administration Reform

Major reforms of the public service are necessary. We are providing technical assistance to the Civil Service Commission.

Sustainable Livelihoods and Private Sector Development

We are working with various ministries that deal with rural issues, agriculture and irrigation to facilitate co-ordination and the development of a sustainable livelihood strategy, as well as working with the Afghan administration to look at effective use of water resources and micro-credit. This will include alternative livelihood efforts for poppy-growing areas.

Security Sector Reform

Security continues to be a key concern. We will work closely with the FCO and MOD to assist with security sector reform and DDR. DFID has seconded an ex-British army Colonel to work with Afghanistan on DDR. DFID secondees will join any UK-led provincial reconstruction teams.