The institutions and policies of aid-recipient countries and aid effectiveness
The case of Afghanistan
The aid effectiveness principles have limits if the recipient is fragile. The problem of relevance exists if the recipient has an authoritarian or totalitarian regime. In situations of weak statehood and fragility, a large portion of aid would likely bypass the state because of high demand for service delivery, weak state capacity and because the principles exclude military assistance.
If a regime lacks national and international legitimacy and violates citizens’ fundamental rights and international norms, aligning aid to the objectives of such a regime may be counterproductive. However, the termination of aid will hurt people who already suffer.
This paper argues that it is imperative to redefine the aim of aid and adopt a more flexible set of principles. Evidence for this is provided by examining the interactions between donors and recipients looking at the case of Afghanistan during two periods: democratic regime 2002–2021, totalitarian regime 2021 onward.