The activities proposed hereafter are still subject to the adoption of the financing decision
In 2012, the transition process1 is making progress and should be achieved by 2014 when the combat mission of ISAF2 is due to end. Even if still substantial, the level of international financial support is being reduced at a rapid pace raising concerns about possible economic impact and subsequent destabilising effects. In the meantime, the internal armed conflict opposing national and international forces against Armed Opposition Groups (AOG), though losing in strength compared to 2011, remained intense. The epicentre of the fighting, which used to be in the south and east of the country, started spreading to the northern and western region. This is the thirty-fourth consecutive year of conflict in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is a natural disaster prone country with weak means and mechanisms in place to mitigate risks and respond to emergencies. It is affected on a regular basis by floods, epidemics, earthquakes, landslides, avalanche, periods of extreme temperature as well as sand storms. There is an average of over eight significant natural disasters per year. Although the prospect for the 2012 harvest is still expected to be above the general average, droughts still chronically affect Afghanistan.
There is widespread and significant displacement caused by conflict and natural disasters amongst the Afghan population. 5.7 million Afghan refugees have returned to Afghanistan since 2002, leaving 2.7 million Afghans predominantly in neighbouring Pakistan and Iran. There are currently about 424,0003 Internally Displaced People (IDPs4) representing a 20% increase compared to 2011. However, it should not be neglected that these displacements can also be linked to poor economic conditions.
International forces operate under the United Nations (UN) mandated framework of the ISAF5. There is a UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) mission under the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).