DFID’s bilateral support to growth and livelihoods in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is one of the most difficult places to deliver aid and DFID’s staff work hard under demanding conditions. We looked in depth at 5 programmes worth £97.7 million between 2006 and 2018.

Score: Amber/Red
  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 7 March 2014
  3. Type: Other
  4. Subject: Country focus, Livelihoods and social protection, Trade and economic development
  5. Assessment: Amber/Red
  6. Location: Afghanistan
  7. Lead commissioner: Mark Foster


Afghanistan has a population of 27.5 million and, with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per person of around £400, is one of the poorest countries in the world. More than a third of the population lives below the poverty line; life expectancy is 49 years and only one in four Afghans over 15 is literate. Women and girls face inequality in political decision-making, domestic and community relations and participation in the wider economy.

Half of the population requires humanitarian assistance and four fifths rely on agriculture for their living. 2014 began a period of even greater uncertainty: all international troops are expected to have withdrawn by December and there is a presidential election in April.

This review examines the effectiveness of the Department for International Development’s (DFID) bilateral growth and livelihoods projects. Overall, we awarded an amber-red score and made three recommendations.


Review publication

Published 7 March 2014

Government response

Published 28 March 2014

ICAI follow-up

Published 18 June 2015