$25 million in extra aid for Afghanistan
Australia will contribute an extra $25 million for ongoing humanitarian and recovery efforts in Afghanistan.
This additional funding brings Australia's total aid commitment to Afghanistan since September 2001 to $110 million, making it Australia's third largest humanitarian effort, exceeded only by East Timor and Iraq.
The Afghan Reconstruction Trust Fund will receive $5 million of the additional funding, bringing our contribution to the Fund this financial year to $9 million. The Fund supports delivery of essential government services such as education, basic health care and economic management.
Australia's increased assistance recognises the progress being made by the Afghanistan Transitional Administration in building the foundations of democracy. It is also a strong gesture of support for the comprehensive development plan being implemented in partnership with the international community.
Australian Non-Government Organisations will also receive $2 million for their ongoing programs in the areas of food security, livelihoods, education, water supply and sanitation. Australian Red Cross, World Vision, CARE Australia and Oxfam are currently operating programs in Afghanistan targeting the immediate needs of vulnerable populations.
Australia's assistance program for Afghanistan supports: refugee and resettlement programs; landmine clearing; voter registration; food aid; health schemes; and projects to replace opium production with alternative crops.
Australia has been encouraged by the transformation Afghanistan has begun over the past two years under the leadership of President Hamid Karzai.
We recognise that the ultimate success of our efforts in Afghanistan will depend on the continuing and effective partnership between the international community and the government and people of Afghanistan.
Mr Downer is in Berlin attending the international conference on Afghanistan.
Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500
or 0419 206 890
Dominic Morice (AusAID) 02 6206 4220 or 0417 683 126