[New publication] Responsible international aid for populations ruled by illegitimate regimes: An indicative framework for Afghanistan

Published 14 December 2022

@Shutterstock - Ottawa, Canada. August 14th, 2021. An end the war in Afghanistan protest from the local diaspora.

In a new research paper by the Institute For Integrated Transitions (IFIT) and published on Reliefweb (OCHA), Asser Institute senior research fellow Nader Nadery provides recommendations for international donors to overcome the practical and moral dilemmas of effective aid delivery under Taliban rule. He calls for a greater focus on the technical requirements linked to aid implementation to illegitimate regimes, rather than on political questions.

After more than a year under Taliban rule, Afghanistan is mired in dysfunction. Basic services such as health and education continue to decline, the public sector is paralysed and the private sector lacks basic preconditions for the kind of economic activity that could alleviate dire poverty. The country can be expected to remain in a major humanitarian crisis and state of aid dependency for years.

Illegitimate regime
Since September 2021, the international community has been struggling with the dilemma of how to support the population and reduce hardship if the country continues to be led by an unelected, illegitimate regime, which includes officials who have been designated as terrorists and placed under international sanctions.

The situation of Afghanistan is not entirely unique. In Syria, Venezuela, Myanmar, Sudan and many other countries, the international community is similarly balancing the goal of supporting the population against the risk of legitimising an unrecognised or predatory regime.

Nader Nadery’s discussion paper looks at lessons learnt from these contexts and proposes creative ideas for an alternative aid delivery framework, drawing primarily on the views of local leaders and experts. Ultimately, the shifting boundaries among humanitarian aid, ‘humanitarian plus’ aid, early recovery assistance and development may need to be revisited, so that donors can find a better balance among competing policy considerations in countries ruled by illegitimate regimes.

Read the full article.

About Nader Nadery
Asser Institute visiting senior research fellow Mr. Nader Nadery LL.M. was a member of Peace Negotiation Team for the Afghanistan peace process in Doha. He also served as chair of the independent Civil Service Commission of Afghanistan. Prior to joining the commission, he was a senior advisor to the Afghan president on human rights, the International Criminal Court and on strategic affairs, as well as presidential envoy for the protection of freedom of expression. Mr. Nadery studied law and political sciences at Kabul University and earned his master’s degree in International Relations from George Washington University. He also studied leadership at Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Read more.

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Nader Nadery LL.M.