KABUL — The World Bank warned Tuesday that any abrupt cut in foreign aid to Afghanistan over the next several years could destabilize the country and prevent the government from providing basic services and paying for its soldiers and police.
Concern has been growing in Kabul about how the Afghan economy will weather the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops starting this year and adjust to lower levels of the foreign aid that now props up the state. This year, Afghanistan received $15.7 billion in aid, most of it from the United States — an amount that accounts for 92 percent of all public spending.
The new analysis by the World Bank and Afghanistan’s Finance Ministry estimates that foreign donors would have to pay about $7 billion a year for the next decade to cover the Afghan government’s expenditures on its security forces, basic services such as health and education, and development projects. The bulk of the money will be needed for an army and police force that NATO has been building toward a goal of a 352,000-member force. That annual price tag could grow if Afghanistan cannot implement some of its ambitious copper and iron ore mining projects, World Bank officials said.