The Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) was established in May 2002 as a vehicle for support both developing programmes and the government’s operating costs. It provides a mechanism for donors to support the national budget, subject to additional fiduciary controls, and is specifically designed to strengthen the budget process. As of April 2009, 30 donors had contributed over US$3 billion (as of April 20 2009), making the ARTF the largest contributor to the Afghan budget. The ARTF is managed by a Management Committee (World Bank, Islamic Development Bank, Asian Development Bank and the UN), which meets quarterly with government to discuss strategy. Rather than earmarking, the ARTF runs a system of ‘preferences’, where donors express a preference that a portion of their contribution go towards a particular programme.