British MPs tell DfID: Rethink mission in Afghanistan beyond 2014

A student at an Afghan agricultural school funded by the United Kingdom. The U.K. Parliament's International Development Committee has urged the Department for International Development to reconsider its priorities in Afghanistan after 2014. Photo by: DfID / CC BY

The U.K. Department for International Development needs to shift its priorities in Afghanistan after 2014, from the creation of a “viable state” to poverty alleviation and basic service provision, according to an influential committee at the U.K. Parliament.

The parliamentary International Development Committee made the call in a report published Oct. 25 on Afghanistan’s development progress and prospects after the scheduled NATO troops pullout.

Women empowerment is among the suggested top priorities, arguing that the rhetoric in advancing the cause may not have been backed by “adequate and specific action and funding.” The others are education, nutrition and other forms of humanitarian assistance, as poverty, acute malnutrition and violence continue to plague the Afghan population.

The committee also advised DfID to hire and deploy people who are well-versed with the Afghan language and culture. That way, it would be easier to oversee and monitor projects even with the security situation.

DfID, according to the report, also needs to develop stronger partnerships with organizations with links with and support from local communities.

U.K. aid to Afghanistan, through DfID, remains at $278.5 million a year for the next five years as part of a previously pledged long-term support to the beleaguered nation.

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    Adrienne Valdez

    Adrienne Valdez is a staff writer for Devex, covering breaking international development news for the Development Newswire. Before joining Devex, Adrienne worked as a news correspondent for a public-sector modernization publication.