Rory Stewart, United Kingdom’s (UK) Minister for International Development said on Saturday that the UK will give nearly $1 billion USD to Afghanistan, but the Afghan government must be accountable in using the money.
He also said that a big part of this grant should be spent on training and educating rural residents.
At the Brussels Summit that was held last week the international community pledged $15.2 billion USD to Afghanistan over the next four years.
However, they said that fighting corruption and accountability is a fundamental precondition for this aid – a stance Stewart has also taken.
“We work together with the Afghan government to make sure that the money is spent correctly so we have agreed in the Conference on what we call a mutual accountability framework. Which means that we are honest with the Afghan government, the Afghan government is honest with us on how the money is being spent. We track the progress and we make sure that we have the correct results,” Stewart said.
Stewart also said despite fighting corruption, providing education opportunities for the residents of rural communities is also important for this government.
“The biggest push of the British government in financial terms is on education, particularly in communities. Community based education, so villages which may be are long away from the school making sure that the people in rural areas receive education,” Stewart said.
It is believed that if government does not fight corruption and does not provide transparent accountability in using the aid, the new grants will not change the life of the Afghan people.
“None of the departments, commissions or institutions have the political will to eradicate the challenges and the corruption,” said Sayed Yonus Hashimi, a civil society activist.
It has been said that a big part of the foreign aid in recent years has been squandered by the government departments because of existing corruption.