UK aid to Afghanistan

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

Score: Amber/Red
  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 24 November 2022
  3. Type: Country portfolio review
  4. Subject: Country focus, Fragile states, Humanitarian assistance, Women and girls
  5. Assessment: Amber/Red
  6. Location: Afghanistan
  7. Lead commissioner: Sir Hugh Bayley
  8. SDGs covered:No poverty, Peace, justice and strong institutions, Quality education, Gender equality

Read the information note

Information note

This note provides a factual account of the UK’s humanitarian response to the Afghanistan crisis since August 2021, including its pledge of £286 million in aid per year for 2021-22 and 2022-23.

It acknowledges that the UK has been an active and significant donor to Afghanistan – including through co-hosting a high-level pledging conference and using its presidency of the G7 to lead international discussions. However, it notes that UK funding has now fallen sharply following successive aid budget reductions and the unprecedented scale of ODA utilisation for housing refugees in the UK.

Proposed lines of inquiry

  1. How should the UK and other donors maximise the impact of humanitarian assistance while minimising the benefits which accrue to the de facto authorities?
  2. How can the UK move beyond a crisis response towards other modes of development assistance that build durable local capacities and reduce dependence on humanitarian aid?
  3. What strategy should the UK and other donors adopt to preserve, as far as possible, the rights and opportunities which women and girls won before 2021?
  4. How should the UK respond to the risk that other donors may disengage from Afghanistan as a result of growing insecurity and the Taliban edicts?
  5. Should the UK consider making the case within the international community for wider engagement with the Taliban, without implying that this would lead to recognition or normalisation of relations?
  6. What are the potential advantages and disadvantages of the UK re-establishing a physical presence within Afghanistan, when security conditions allow, to exercise more effective oversight of UK aid?



Published 21 June 2022

Evidence gathering


Review publication

Published 24 November 2022

Government response

Published 10 January 2023

Parliamentary scrutiny

IDC hearing 21 February 2023

Information note publication

Published 18 May 2023

Further scrutiny

Follow-up published 16 May 2024