Afghanistan: Calling For A 10 Year Aid Commitment + Transparency

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14th October 2010, 09:40pm - Views: 538





Misc Miscellaneous Australian Council For International Development 1 image

The Australian Council for International Development is an independent national association of

Australian non-government organisations (NGOs) working in the field of international aid and

development.


ph:

02 6285 1816 

Mail: Private Bag 3

fax:

02 6285 1720 

DEAKIN ACT 2600

email:

main@acfid.asn.au 

Address: 14 Napier Close


DEAKIN ACT 2600

       

media release

Australian Council for International Development


Embargo 12am 15 October 2010

13/2010


Afghanistan: Calling for a 10 Year Aid Commitment

Greater Aid Transparency Required


The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) is calling for the

Federal Government to commit to a ten-year humanitarian and development

program for the people of Afghanistan. 


As the peak body for Australian aid and development organizations, we have written

to Parliamentarians ahead of next week’s debate on Afghanistan calling for greater

transparency and accountability of Australia’s civilian and military assistance. 


“Afghanistan is the second poorest country in the world and its people need a long-

term aid commitment if their development needs are to be effectively met. This

should be a predictable and timetabled pledge to provide at least AUD$100 million

per year in development assistance for the next ten years,” said ACFID Executive

Director Marc Purcell.

 

“Our experience shows that short-term bursts of aid are not effective due to

corruption and the inability of the Afghan Government to absorb large amounts of

money over a short period. Steady, predictable delivery of aid over long periods of

time brings better results.


“Transparency and public disclosure of Australia’s aid expenditure to Afghanistan and

its effectiveness is insufficient.  The ADF do not appear to have formally evaluated

the effectiveness of their aid work. The Canadian Government reports to its own

Parliament on a quarterly basis with a breakdown of all official development

assistance (ODA) to Afghanistan. Australia should do the same,” Mr Purcell said. 


“A Senate Select Committee should undertake an inquiry on the future of Australia’s

long-term role in Afghanistan, with similar terms of reference to inquiries that have

occurred in the UK, US and Canada. This would be the best way to deliberate on the

nature of our long-term aid and development commitment,” Mr Purcell concluded.


Further information:


In the 2010-11 Federal Budget, Afghanistan is the fourth largest country recipient of

Australian ODA ($123m) and the AusAID Afghanistan country program receives $106m.


In 2009-10, AusAID estimates that around 10% of the AusAID country program was spent

in Uruzgan Province. This is expected to increase to between 14-20% in 2010-11. 


The Defence budget is estimated to be ten times that of the Australian aid budget to

Afghanistan, at approximately AUD$1.2 billion.


Media inquiries: Joy Kyriacou 0412 084 782






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