UK aid to Afghanistan

This forthcoming review will examine the relevance, coherence and effectiveness of the UK’s aid investment in Afghanistan since 2014.

  1. Status: In progress
  2. Last updated: 21 June 2022
  3. Type: Country portfolio review
  4. Subject: Country focus, Fragile states, Humanitarian assistance, Women and girls
  5. Location: Afghanistan
  6. Lead commissioner: Sir Hugh Bayley
  7. SDGs covered:No poverty, Peace, justice and strong institutions, Quality education, Gender equality

Latest news

We are conducting a review of the UK’s aid investment in Afghanistan. We have published our approach paper and we are currently gathering evidence. We expect to publish this review in autumn 2022.

Summary

The Taliban takeover in August 2021 ended a 20-year international military and civilian intervention to stabilise Afghanistan and rebuild its institutions, economy and society. Despite receiving tens of billions in international aid throughout the intervention, the country is now in a state of near collapse after the withdrawal of international military and financial support, economic sanctions and the freezing of Afghan state assets. It is currently estimated that over 90% of people in Afghanistan are living in extreme poverty, with 24.4 million people in need of humanitarian support.

The UK has been a major provider of development and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan since the beginning of the international military intervention in 2001 and Afghanistan has consistently ranked among the top recipients of UK aid. However, the UK’s objectives and chosen methods for delivering aid to Afghanistan have evolved over the years.

The UK government committed to “continuing to support stability in Afghanistan, as part of a wider coalition” in the Integrated review of security, defence, development and foreign policy, published in February 2021. However, following the withdrawal of international forces and the Taliban’s de facto control, development assistance to Afghanistan by the UK and other donors has been halted. The UK continues to contribute to humanitarian support through multilateral channels.

This country portfolio review will examine the relevance, coherence and effectiveness of the UK’s aid investment in Afghanistan from 2014. An additional non-evaluative chapter will cover UK aid spending on humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan from August 2021 to present.

Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals relevant to this review are:

  • Sustainable Development Goal 1: No poverty
  • Sustainable Development Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions
  • Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality education
  • Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender equality

Timeline

Approach

Published 21 June 2022

Evidence gathering

Ongoing

Review publication

Expected autumn 2022

Further scrutiny

To be confirmed