Purcell: Aid transparency needed in Afghanistan efforts

Marc Purcell, Executive Director of the Australian Council for International Development, urges greater transparency in Australian aid to Afghanistan on 16th October in The Australian. He highlights the importance of delineating aid and military spending and for improved aid transparency in AusAID.

Purcell praises AusAID for not weighting its aid portfolio towards military presence. However, he argues that it is important to demarcate spending and ensure transparency, particularly with evidence suggesting that aid money to Afghanistan is being channelled into military activity.

Currently the Australian Defence Force (ADF) ‘doesn’t appear to disaggregate its aid work from military operations in Afghanistan’, and projects have not been evaluated for cost-effectiveness or outcome. However, money continues to flow disproportionately to less secure areas to follow military activity whilst more secure areas are forgotten. Purcell warns ‘the potential for unrest created by provincial aid inequalities should not be underestimated.’

Publish What You Fund believes that aid transparency is essential in overcoming the problems raised, and in making the Afghan government accountable to its citizens, and the Australian government accountable to its taxpayers.

Read Purcell’s article.

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