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Afghanistan: the EU keeps its promises

Summary: Afghanistan: the EU keeps its promises (26 January 2007: Brussels)

The combined contribution from the EU budget and by EU Member States to Afghanistan for the period 2002-2006 was very significant, reaching €3.7 billion.

The EU has been and continues to be one of the major donors supporting the stabilisation and transition process in Afghanistan. At the Tokyo and Berlin conferences on Afghanistan (January 2002 and March 2004), the EU collectively pledged €3.1 billion for reconstruction over the period from 2002 to 2006. This accounted for 30% of the €10 billion in grant assistance which international donors pledged in Tokyo and Berlin in total. This amount was surpassed by the EU, with an overall total of some €3.7 billion being recorded.

Within the overall EU effort, the European Commission has played a leading role. Commission assistance made up almost a third of the overall EU effort in Afghanistan since 2002. At the Tokyo conference, the Commission pledged €1 billion in reconstruction aid over 5 years (2002-2006).

By the end of 2006, the Commission had exceeded the €1 billion pledge it made in Tokyo. Focal sectors over the last five years have included rural development, infrastructure, primary health provision and support to public services through both budget support and technical assistance.

Highlights of the European Commission assistance to Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban:

Getting the public sector running again

In the immediate aftermath of the conflict, a crucial part of European Commission assistance was to help re-establish the key public sector services in Afghanistan, ensuring salaries and basic provisions were met. Almost a quarter million Afghan public servants - including doctors and nurses, teachers - restarted and continued in their jobs since 2002 due to the donor support to government budget. The Commission has been a major donor, providing some €394 million in public administration programmes and central budget support. Similarly, the European Commission has been the main donor to the Afghan National Police, helping cover the salaries of some 62,000 policemen.

Rural livelihoods as an alternative to poppy

Around €248 million has been channelled into rural development programmes, focused primarily in the east and north-east of Afghanistan. The difficult task of ridding the country of dependence on poppy continues but there have been signs of sustained reductions in opium cultivation in eastern provinces such as Nangarhar where the European Commission has taken forward a series of alternative crop programmes, small scale infrastructure and village employment schemes. Such programmes are crucial in the overall counter-narcotics effort, enabling farmers in the region to produce high value crops and benefit from better access to markets for example.

Better access to health provisions

To date, Commission assistance to the health sector has covered 10 of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, working with World Bank and US partners in improving the coverage of primary health services across the whole country. Some €94 million has been channelled into the health sector by the European Commission since 2002. Today, Commission assistance has managed to ensure the delivery of a basic package of health services to some 4 million Afghans, covering over 1,200 health clinics or health posts. Some of the clinics have been rebuilt entirely. The aim is to continue with the primary health programme to achieve 100% coverage of the country by 2010.

Returning to a normal life

Commission support has also targeted repatriation of refugees and returnees with €53 million in community development projects and employment schemes in areas previously depopulated. Furthermore, there has been a need to ensure that these regions are safe to return to. Afghanistan is the most mined country in the world after a quarter of a century of conflict. Commission funds have provided almost €70 million to one of the largest ever UN de-mining operations.
For more information please visit:

http://ec.europa.eu/comm/external_relations/afghanistan/intro/index.htm

European Commission support to the reconstruction of Afghanistan (2002/06)


Commitments per year expressed in million Euro
Sector
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
Total
Percent of total
Rural Development & Food Security[1]
42,99
48,00
73,90
51,75[2]
32,23
248,87
24
Health
15,51
10,00
19,50
23,36
26,00
94,37
9
Public Administration Reform[3]
61,05
107,50
42,70
75,20
108,20
394,65
38
ARTF
20,00
32,00
30,00
30,00
30,00
142,00

LOTFA
10,00
65,50

30,00
30,00
135,50

Economic Infrastructure
17,77
35,00
35,00
18,00

105,77
10
Mine Action
10,00
15,00
15,00

28,60
68,60
7
Support to Refugees/Returnees[4]
24,00
12,00

17,15
0,70
53,85
5
Human Rights and Civil Society
5,72
2,00
6,00
7,30

21,02
2
Support to Elections

5,00
17,00
20,53
1,30
43,83
4
Others
3,86
1,50
3,90


9,26
1
Total
180,90
236,00
213,00
198,29
197,030
1025,22
100


[1] Including contributions from the food security budget line (2002: 29,4; 2003: 25,0; 2004: 30,0; 2005: 15,0; 2006: 10); considering contributions to Alternative Livelihoods Project.
[2] Including contribution of €15 million to the Counter Narcotics Trust Fund.
[3] Including contributions to the Trust Funds (ARTF and LOTFA).
[4] Considers only actions supporting directly refugees and returnees.

 
  • Ref: EC07-019EN
  • EU source: European Commission
  • UN forum: 
  • Date: 26/1/2007


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