Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, September 21st, 2020

Transparent System Required for Continued International Funding

Over the last ten years, Afghanistan has been receiving international aid for reconstruction projects and restoration of economic infrastructures. The effectiveness of the aid is not felt in terms of bringing tangible change to the lives of Afghan people. Last year, the economic restoration received a great blow when Kabul Bank, the leading bank of the country nearly collapsed. Afghan government had allocated a chunk of the budget to Kabul Bank to help it recover but Afghan parliamentarians and legislators rejected the budget until the allotted portion was removed.

On Wednesday last week, a British official said that his country was determined to provide a £7m aid funding to Afghanistan to help pull Kabul Bank out of crisis. Andrew Kidd, the visiting Deputy Head of UK Department for International Development (DFID) told a news conference in Kabul that the funding that will be provided soon was first suggested by the Afghan government to resolve deficits in the Bank. "On the funding of the forensic audit for the Kabul Bank we have just reached agreement now with the government of Afghanistan and the government of Afghanistan will bring in an audit firm to work on that, so we will be able to provide that funding very soon."

While international community continues to pledge aid for Afghanistan, unfortunately the government has not been able to address corruption substantially. It is just wasting time in setting up commissions or committees but without any result of addressing the corruption that remains pervasive and widespread across the government agencies and offices and continues to enrich the corrupt officials.

After the near collapse of Kabul Bank, some of its shareholders were accused of personally using millions of dollars of depositors' money. But unfortunately there has not been any genuine probe into the issue and Afghan people have lost their trust and confidence in the banking system and it will be difficult to restore this trust if the issue of Kabul Bank is not addressed effectively. What annoys Afghan people most is the fact that the investment of the depositors' money was not done inside the country to help restore infrastructures of the country so that the people themselves benefit from the outcome of the investment and instead the money was sent out of the country. It is important to help the bank emerge out of the current crisis but it is equally important to address the issue that brought about the crisis effectively. The government must create a transparent system to receive further international funding.