Claudia Nassif is a senior country economist for Afghanistan at the World Bank.
"As long as the security situation continues to improve, Afghanistan will continue to grow..." "The ability of the country to achieve peace, stability, and reconciliation in the years to come will ultimately determine Afghanistan’s development prospects..." "Strong reform efforts will be required to prepare Afghanistan for the years after transition..."
Afghanistan is facing uncertain times ahead. The withdrawal of most international military troops by 2014 will affect the country far beyond the hand-over of all security responsibilities. The operations of international troops were supported not just by a high level of military but also civilian aid that financed reconstruction efforts and the provision of public services. This has fueled fears that the security transition will also be followed by a reduction of aid with potentially devastating repercussions on Afghanistan’s economy.
Based on analytical work that the World Bank conducted over the past two years, this article argues that while the transition process carries a number of risks for the country’s economic outlook and the sustainability of the state, these risks can be managed to ensure continued growth and development. In fact, the months leading up to the April 2014 presidential elections will be critical for the implementation of policy reforms that could move Afghanistan towards a more sustainable growth trajectory... (purchase article...)