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Frequently Asked Questions About Making Donations to the Afghan National Army (ANA) Trust Fund

What is the ANA Trust Fund?

The fund was initially created in 2007 to help fund the transportation and installation costs of equipment donations by International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) nations to the Afghan National Army (ANA).  

After the decision of the Government of Afghanistan, in coordination with the international community, to address the nation’s security requirements by increasing the size of the ANA from 86,000 to 134,000 troops, NATO Allies agreed in March 2009 to expand the scope of the fund to also support the “sustainment” of recurring costs of the ANA as it expands. 

The decision to broaden the trust fund was taken in response to a request by the Afghan authorities and is in line with the International Community’s commitment to provide budgetary, material, and training support to develop the Afghan national military and police forces in the Afghanistan Compact at the London Conference on Afghanistan, January 31-February 1, 2006.  The decision is supported by the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA).

NATO agreed that the broadened trust fund would run for a period of five years (subject to renewal), and should be the main conduit for channeling funds from the International Community toward ANA sustainment.  While NATO agreed to manage and oversee the fund, NATO does not expect to provide the full cost of ANA sustainment alone.  NATO sees this effort as shared with the international community in the common effort of ensuring that the Afghan Government can increasingly provide for its own security and stability.  On a parallel track, donor nations are working closely with the appropriate Afghan ministries to increase the revenue collection capacity of the Government of Afghanistan in order to gradually transition ANA sustainment costs.

What will the money be used for?

The U.S. Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A), which leads the international community’s support for training and equipping the Afghan National Security Forces, is developing a document that describes ANA sustainment elements.  It will outline infrastructure, equipment and training requirements, provide cost data and implementation timelines, and identify priority requirements.  Generally speaking, the funds will pay for the following:

  • equipment (generators, fuel tankers, tractors, cranes, tents)
  • transportation (vehicle maintenance and other transportation services),
  • combat equipment (weapons maintenance, ammunition, uniforms and protective gear),
  • communications (satellite and microwave connectivity, secure communications equipment; radio and communications system maintenance support, and operating costs),
  • logistics (material handling and distribution, fuel, replacement of used containers, warehouse rental, labor contracts, security at warehouse, forklift rental, facility operations and maintenance),
  • personnel (salaries, incentive pay raise, ID cards and biometrics systems sustainment),
  • medical (sustainment of the ANA healthcare system including vaccines, medical consumables, lab tests, radiology, dental, medical informatics), and
  • the Air Corps (aircraft logistics and maintenance; aircraft fuel; communications and computer systems, support contracts).

How will the fund work?

Following NATO’s recent approval of a broader mandate for the Trust Fund, it will establish, in cooperation with U.S. authorities, specific roles and responsibilities for the management of the fund.  A Project Board will be established in Kabul to monitor the use of the funds.  The Project Board will be co-chaired by CSTC-A, COMISAF and a representative from the Government of Afghanistan.  The Board likely will include in-country representatives of donor nations and organisations and will be advised by officials from the Afghan Ministry of Defence.

How much would ANA sustainment cost per year?

While CSTC-A’s document on ANA sustainment requirements is still under preparation, it is  estimated that total ANA 2009 sustainment costs will total approximately $1.34 billion, increasing to $2 billion as the ANA grows towards 134,000.

Is it possible to earmark funds for particular ANA sustainment areas?

There is, naturally, a clear preference for non-caveated contributions as this allows for maximum flexibility in allocating funds to evolving priorities.  Where earmarks or caveats are unavoidable, nations are encouraged to make these as generic and flexible as possible.  Caveats or earmarks need to be indicated in writing at the time of pledging or contributing the funds. 

How will expenditures be tracked / How will my nation know what its money is being used for?

Management and accountability arrangements will include provisions for reports on trust fund commitments and expenditures (with breakdowns by requirement areas) as well as progress and performance reports, annual financial accounts and certified expenditure statements.  While such reports will not account for individual contributions, the level of granularity will be sufficient to ensure nations that funds have been used in line with both the project documentation and possible caveats.  The fund will be subject to independent auditing.

How much has been donated for sustainment costs of the ANA force expansion so far?

As of 1 May 2009, the fund had received approximately 25 million Euros in actual contributions and a further 220 million Euro in pledges (some of this spread over the 5 years of the fund).  In parallel, the United States, as part of its overall support to the Afghan army, has taken the primary responsibility to pay for the initial build-up of forces.  The U.S. will spend approximately $1.5 billion this year, and has requested a further $2.6 billion in Fiscal Year 2009 and $4.7 billion in Fiscal Year 2010 for these purposes.