In May 2002, after the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and removal of the Taliban regime, a multilateral fund was set up by the World Bank called the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund. As you've probably guessed this fund existed for the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
According to the World Bank it has two primary purposes, first to "provide for the recurrent costs of the government, such as the salaries of teachers, health workers, civilian staff in ministries and provinces, operations, and maintenance expenditures; and bulk purchases of essential goods for the government. Second, it would support investment projects, capacity building, feasibility studies, technical assistance, and the return of expatriate Afghans".
By September last year, the 25 nations donating to the fund had pledged $1.7 billion of which $1.4 billion had been received. That's an awful lot of money that can probably help do an awful lot of things in Afghanistan. Given this it's not unreasonable to think the Government would want to let it been known how well the reconstruction projects are going, however, there is a problem, they don't actually know, and it would cost them too much to find out (do they not have Google?).
In response to a question from the shadow Foreign Secretary, William Hague yesterday about what large scale reconstruction projects have been completed in Afghanistan since 2002, the International Development Secretary, and Labour Deputy leadership hopeful Hilary Benn said, "[t]his information is not available and to obtain it would incur a disproportionate cost."
Isn't it good to know that the man responsible for dishing out aid in a country we have a military presence in knows what is happening with the cash?