The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Why international funds prevent Afghanistan from turning into a stable economy?

Afghanistan has been financially sponsored by the international community led by the U.S. over the past two decades. According to reports published by Western watchdogs and institutions, the U.S. apparently spent nearly $2 trillion in Afghanistan during the 20- year occupation of the country. Given the massive infusion of billions of dollars under the name of humanitarian aid, the ordinary Afghans are still suffering from a vulnerable life. This written piece delves into the complexities, limitations, and obstacles that international funds hinder the transformation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan into advanced and stable economies solely through humanitarian aid and/or foreign assistance. Indeed, the quest for economic development in developing states has been a persistent global challenge. While many argue that humanitarian aid plays a significant role in alleviating immediate crises, they often falls short in propelling nations toward sustained economic advancement and stability. One of the inherent limitations of humanitarian aid is its often-short-term focus. Such aids are frequently designed to address immediate crises such as natural disasters, conflicts, or health emergencies. While this assistance may help people and mitigate urgent challenges, it does not necessarily contribute to the long term economic development of Afghanistan. Dependence on foreign aid can create a cycle where Afghanistan would find itself perpetually reliant on external assistance rather than developing self-sustainable economic systems. Moreover, humanitarian aid and/or foreign assistance programs may lack a holistic and comprehensive approach to development. While addressing immediate needs is vital, sustainable economic growth requires a strategic and integrated plan that encompasses education, infrastructure, healthcare, and good governance. Foreign aid efforts often focus on individual sectors or crisis response, neglecting the broader framework necessary for building a resilient and advanced economy. Furthermore, many developing states face challenges related to weak institutional capacity, including corruption, bureaucracy, and inadequate governance structures. Humanitarian aid and foreign assistance alone may struggle to address these systemic issues. Sustainable economic development requires institutions that can effectively manage resources, implement policies, and foster an environment conducive to investment and entrepreneurship. Therefore, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan needs to strengthen its institutional capacity which often demands a more nuanced and sustained approach than awaiting emergency aid from international donors. Besides, one of the dire implications of foreign assistance is that it often comes with conditions and policy impositions of international institutions (World Bank, IMF, WTO, and UN) that would not only align with Afghanistan’s long-term developmental goals but would also push the country toward dependency. Conditionalities may prioritize the interests of donor countries or international organizations, potentially leading to policy decisions that would not serve the best interests of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the Afghan people. This dynamic can hinder Afghanistan’s ability to formulate and implement strategies tailored to its unique circumstances – the former Republic’s failure serves as clear examples for this claim. On the other hand, heavy reliance on foreign aid can inadvertently lead to aid dependency, where a significant portion of Afghanistan will be consistently sourced from external donors. This dependency can result in what economists refer to as the “Dutch Disease,” where an influx of aid negatively impacts the competitiveness of local industries, adding to the sense of dependence on external donors. Instead of fostering economic diversification, Afghanistan will become overly reliant on the sectors directly supported by foreign aid, hindering the development of a robust and diversified economy. In fact, humanitarian aid and/or foreign assistance often prioritize immediate needs such as food, shelter, and healthcare. While these efforts do not sufficiently address the longterm development of human capital, including education, skills training, and innovation. Therefore, Afghanistan’s prosperity is intricately linked to the capabilities and knowledge of its populace. Neglecting human capital development in favor of shortterm relief can impede Afghanistan’s ability to compete in the global economy. Likewise, a well-educated and skilled workforce is fundamental for economic advancement. Afghanistan faces challenges in providing quality education and skill development opportunities, particularly for its youth. The transformation of Afghanistan’s economy necessitates a shift from aid dependency to self-sufficiency. This involves empowering local industries, promoting entrepreneurship, and creating an environment conducive to both domestic and foreign investment. Additionally, a sustained commitment to education, skill development, and environmental sustainability is vital for building the foundations of a resilient and prosperous economy. In conclusion, while humanitarian aid and/or foreign assistance may play minor roles in addressing immediate crises and urgent needs, they possess inherent limitations when it comes to transforming developing states into advanced and stable economies. To overcome these limitations, a more nuanced and comprehensive approach is necessary – one that focuses on longterm development strategies, strengthens institutional capacity, encourages human capital development, and facilitates private sector growth. The path to economic advancement requires a collaborative effort, recognizing the multifaceted nature of sustainable development.

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.