Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF)

Millions of Afghan women, men and children gained access to services and improved their income since the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund’s initiation (ARTF) in 2002. It also significantly contributed to the Afghan state’s capacity and legitimacy. ARTF constitutes a coordinated financing mechanism for the state's budget (Recurrent Cost Window) and for its priority national investment projects (Investment Window) in the areas of agriculture, rural development, infrastructure, education, health and governance.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Agriculture & food security
Human rights
Conflict & fragility
Agricultural land resources
Primary education
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Agricultural policy
Teacher training
Legal and judicial development
Conflict prevention
Education policy
01.11.2015 - 31.10.2024
CHF  9’500’000

Despite improvements in many areas, the living conditions of Afghans as measured by any development indicator remain among the worst in the world. Uncertainty surrounding the political (elections 2014) and security (draw-down NATO combat troops) transition significantly affected the economy and the pace of reforms. Economic growth fell sharply from an average of 9% in 2003-2011 to 1.9% of GDP in 2014. Afghanistan faces a deteriorating fiscal crisis. State capacity improved since 2002, not least thanks to large-scale support programs such as ARTF, but remains very weak in many regards. Against this challenging backdrop, the new Government of Afghanistan (GoA) stays committed to a vision of “self-reliance” by 2025. On this ambitious path and given outstanding development challenges and the difficult financial situation, it will require sustained support by the international community.

The World Bank administrated ARTF has proven to be an effective multi-donor, on-system and –budget mechanism to support the GoA. It has two basic windows: 1. A Recurrent Cost Window supporting the GoA civilian operating budget including wages, operations and maintenance. 2. An Investment Window providing funding to government-led projects in the area of agriculture, rural development, infrastructure, education, health and governance. ARTF fares excellent in terms of development effectiveness principles namely national ownership, alignment and use of country systems. ARTF is the largest development trust fund in Afghanistan with an expected budget of USD 2.9 billion 2015-17. All noteworthy in-country OECD donors are contributing to ARTF.

A Swiss contribution to the ARTF is fully in line with the Swiss Cooperation Strategy Afghanistan 2015–2018 and the Message on Switzerland’s International Cooperation 2013-2016. It will allow Switzerland to engage at a central forum for policy dialogue with the Government and exchange with other donors. The Swiss Cooperation Office can bring in expertise in various ARTF areas including governance, agriculture and education. The contribution will be the expression of Swiss solidarity with a country having passed a challenging political transition counting now with a reform-minded and credible leadership including an entirely renewed cabinet.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International Financial Institution (IFI)
  • Other WB

Estimated operational start of intervention

(main credit phase 1)


Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    9’500’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    0
Project phases Phase 99 01.11.2015 - 31.10.2024   (Current phase) Phase 2 01.12.2017 - 31.12.2021   (Current phase) Phase 1 01.11.2015 - 30.06.2018   (Completed)