November 7, 2023

German ODA in Afghanistan

Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung - Geneva Office

The Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung – Geneva Office is excited to present two brand new reports about German Official Development Assistance (ODA) in Afghanistan (2001-2021)

The first report, The Scope and Impact of Official Development Assistance in Afghanistan, is a valuable resource for policy makers, researchers and development experts, as well as for the general public, who gain insight into the impact of German ODA in Afghanistan during the military intervention and its links to migration, military and foreign policy.

This research report written by Dr Paniz Musawi Natanzi and Dr Annika Schmeding examines the scope and impact of German Official Development Assistance (ODA) in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2021, focusing on the “networked approach” during NATO operations. It analyzes the interplay between development, foreign, and defense policies, addressing the political underpinnings of investigating Germany’s future involvement in such interventions.

The report also delves into the genealogy of ODA in neoliberal development policy, highlighting its role in uneven development and dependency. It discusses Germany’s institution-building and funding priorities in Afghanistan, notably how they related to domestic issues such as refugee inflows and labor migration. The militarization of Afghan life due to NATO operations and the blurred lines between civil and military work are also explored.

Furthermore, the report critiques the data collection and assessment systems for ODA projects and examines Germany’s financial involvement in the peace process, from the Bonn Agreement in 2001 to negotiations with the Taliban. It concludes by assessing Germany’s continued involvement in post-2021 Afghanistan in the form of humanitarian assistance.

In addition to this report, the RLS is pleased to publish another study, The Global relevance of Afghan Migration: A State-of-the-Art Review and Repository, that examines the global impact of Afghan migration and ODA in this context from 2001 to 2021. It redefines the norms of migrationand explores the complex link between conflict and migration, beyond simplistic narratives of flight.

This study written by Dr Tobias Marschall addresses the global relevance of Afghan migration and the scope and impact of German Official Development Assistance (ODA) to migration, during the twenty years of the NATO-led intervention (2001-2021).

First, it will review normative definitions of a variety of movements cast under the generic term “migration” in international treaties and among international organisations. It will then address the complex entanglement of war and migration beyond the simplistic refuge lens towards a more comprehensive understanding of migration beyond conventional push and pull factors. It will tackle the magnitude of the movements triggered by the different phases of the intervention between 2001 and 2021 and address their relative success or failure concerning the SDG 16 to “promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies.”

Given that migration research produced a large body of work, especially from Central Europe and Switzerland, this study will present critical perspectives and review its conclusions about German ODA. As concluding remarks, it formulates several recommendations.