The United States and the World Bank set the terms for post-Taliban aid to Afghanistan and five European donors simply followed along. There was no “European model" for the world’s first post-9/11 humanitarian operation. A major new evaluation of British, Swedish, Danish, Dutch and Irish humanitarian and development assistance to Afghanistan during 2001-4 faults these governments for not taking a more independent approach. The donors financed parallel structures based on expensive consultants and NGOs, creating resentment and fostering corruption.
Provided the aid budget frame for next year is approved, nominal growth in Norwegian aid since 2001 will have been NOK 6.2 billion; an increase of 50 per cent in five years, reaching 0.96 per cent of GNI. This has mostly happened in a period when the Conservative Party, which traditionally seeks to cut aid, had a majority of Cabinet members.
The President of Mali Amadou Toumani Touré and the President of Niger Mamadou Tandja did not get a chance in October to persuade Danish Development Minister Ulla Tørnæs that their country should become the new priority recipient in Danish aid.