Afghanistan will need to prove to donor nations that it can effectively manage the vast sums of assistance it says it requires years into the future, even as foreign troops go home, a top IMF official said on Monday.
Even under optimistic scenarios, for the next decade Afghanistan will need an extraordinary degree of donor support to meet its financing needs for both security and development, Masood Ahmed, the International Monetary Fund's director for the Middle East and Central Asia, said in an interview.
As the fiscal situation in many of the partner countries of Afghanistan becomes more difficult, it will become all the more important to be able to demonstrate that the money is being allocated in a way that achieves its intended objectives.
Ahmed spoke on the sidelines of an international conference in Bonn, Germany, on the future of Afghanistan, which is struggling with an insurgency even as foreign troops gradually withdraw. One of the world's poorest countries, Afghanistan remains heavily reliant on outside aid.
Ahmed said Afghanistan was now moving in the right direction in trying to boost government revenues needed to wean itself from aid in the long run.
He said government revenues now stood at about 11 percent of GDP, but the Afghan government aimed to increase that to 14 percent of GDP by 2014. He applauded plans to introduce a value-added tax during the same timeframe.
(Reporting by Missy Ryan; editing by Maria Golovnina)