Afghanistan crossroads: troop withdrawals, Taliban expansion, declining foreign assistance

3 March 2020 14:00 - 15:30 EST
Public event


Nigel Roberts – Lead Consultant, Lessons for Peace project, ODI



Naheed Sarabi @Sarabinaheed – Deputy Minister for Policy, Ministry of Finance, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Hartwig Schafer @HartwigSchafer – Vice President for South Asia, World Bank

Orzala Nemat @Orzala – Director, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU)

Laurel Miller @LaurelMillerICG – Director of Asia Program, International Crisis Group

Tobias Haque – Senior Country Economist, The World Bank, Afghanistan

Saku Akmeemana @dfat – Principle Governance Specialist, Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia


Can the Afghan state survive in its present form? What will ‘power-sharing’ with the Taliban really look like? What role can development assistance play in influencing the balance of power, governance, socio-economic development and women’s rights in Afghanistan? What is the nature of ‘corruption’ in Afghanistan and how should donors respond?

US negotiations with the Taliban have taken place against a background of continuing political disunity, expanding Taliban control of the countryside and the likelihood of a steep decline in foreign assistance levels. The future trajectory of US-Taliban negotiations is uncertain, and the speed and extent of US troop withdrawals unclear. The results of recent presidential elections have yet to be announced and plans for negotiations remain dormant.

Despite major successes at bringing donor contributions on-budget, significant quantities of current and planned civilian aid remain off-budget and poorly coordinated with government programs. These uncertainties, along with the unpredictable nature of any future Taliban involvement in the affairs of state, present major challenges to the Government of Afghanistan’s efforts to manage foreign assistance coherently.

ODI’s Lessons for Peace: Afghanistan project will be hosting a panel at the World Bank’s 2020 Fragility Forum to consider these issues in the context of next year’s round of donor planning and pledging.

The full agenda for the Fragility Forum 2020 and information on how to register for the event can be found here.

Please note, ODI is not responsible for the organisation of, or registration for the Fragility Forum 2020 event. For any queries specifically related to this panel, please contact Elliot Rooney, [email protected].