Denmark will extend support to Afghanistan. The Danish assistance to Afghanistan continues - at least until 2009, with DKK 670 million.
Denmark has donated extensive assistance to Afghanistan since the overthrow of the Taleban regime in 2001, and the assistance will continue. Today the Appropriation Committee in the Danish Parliament has approved a grant of DKK 670 million to acute aid as well as long-term reconstruction in Afghanistan up to the year 2009.
There is agreement between Denmark and Afghanistan about the continuous priority of:
- Human rights and democratisation
- Reconstruction and reform of the public sector
- Improvement in living conditions for the rural population
- Support to refugees and internally displaced persons in their region of origin
- Humanitarian assistance
The Danish contribution will thus continue within the scope of the same activities as up till now. However slightly adjusted in the light of the experience from the first years of assistance. A new activity will be assistance in the regions of origin, where refugees are helped back to a normal life in Afghanistan.
Minister for Development Cooperation, Ulla Tørnæs, is satisfied with the cooperation with Afghanistan:
"I am very pleased to see, that the Afghan Government has actually been capable of assuming the responsibility for development and democratisation. This has been a prerequisite for the good results we have reached so far. In the Education Sector, for instance, double the number as under the Taleban regime are in school. Yet there is a long way to go. Despite progress in the democratisation process there is a risk that the development will be sabotaged. In great parts of the country the security situation is still unstable, and the presence of international stabilisation forces will be necessary for many years henceforward".
Denmark has helped Afghanistan since the fall of the Taleban regime in 2001. The Danish assistance has provided outstanding results in areas like human rights, education, development in rural areas and reconstruction of the state administration - assistance, which is highly appreciated by the Afghan Government. The Danish support to the Ministry of Education has already resulted in a new curriculum for 22 courses, better training of teachers, publication of 3.6 million schoolbooks and the construction of new schools. It is in particular a great move forward for the girls, that double the number of children is attaining school.
Afghanistan already has reached considerable and positive results. For instance, the new Afghan Constitution provides equality of rights for women and ensures the establishment of an independent human rights commission. A successful presidential election has been carried out in 2004, and a new Cabinet was appointed in the end of the same year. During the past month, more than 6000 Afghan people have registered as candidates for the Parliament- and Provincial elections, who are to be held in September this year. More than 3 million refugees have returned from the neighbouring countries and there is positive economic development, with a growth rate of more than 10%. Hitherto, the Danish activities in Afghanistan have contributed to creating improvement to these and other important improvements.