The UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FDCO) has been put in the spotlight by a report released in November by an independent commission.
The Independent Commission for Aid Impact, which examines UK aid spending, published a review UK aid to Afghanistan in November 2022. The review looked at UK aid spending before the Islamic Emirate takeover. ICAI awarded the government an Amber/Red score, meaning “unsatisfactory achievement in most areas."
UK MPs will explore the key findings of their report and seek an update on the government’s response at a session scheduled for February 21.
Lord Ahmad, responsible minister for the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and the United Nations will give evidence on the Government’s response to ICAI’s review and the current situation in Afghanistan, according to the UK parliamentary brief posted online.
The report also expressed concerns over the current economic situation of Afghanistan, saying that the country is currently facing an ongoing economic crisis and freezing conditions, which have increased the number of people in humanitarian need.
The report said that one month after the recent ban on female NGO employees in Afghanistan, a poll of 87 NGOs by the Humanitarian Access Working Group revealed that one in five organisations said that women could no longer access their services. The services offered by NGOs in Afghanistan have been scaled back, with 67% having reduced their work, only 17% operating fully and 15% not operating at all.
Economists said that the injection of aid to Afghanistan is important in the current situation, the report said.
"The continuation of such aid, especially by the UK in the current situation, is important because Afghanistan is currently at the edge of a humanitarian crisis and more than 90 percent of the population are living in poverty," said Seyar Qureshi, an economist.
This comes as the residents of Kabul expressed concern about unemployment.
"All of the people need aid because all of the people are jobless. They don't have the capacity to purchase wood and coal," said Mohammad Zakir, a resident of Kabul.
"The aid should be through a certain method, they should come with a community leader and conduct a survey, and provide the aid to the people who deserve it," said Mohammad Aslam, a resident of Kabul.
The Ministry of Economy (MoE) said that cash aid has helped the stabilization of Afghan currency.
"The cash aid in addition to stabilization of exports, has played an important role in the economic development and stabilization of Afghan currency. We support this aid," said Abdul Latif Nazari, deputy Minister of Economy.
According to the Central Bank, more than $2.2 billion in cash has been assisted to Afghanistan after the Islamic Emirate came to power.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that more than 28 million people need aid in 2023 in Afghanistan.
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