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Kristian Jensen: Continued Danish support and demands for reforms in Afghanistan

Kristian Jensen is taking part today in the major international ministerial conference on Af-ghanistan’s reform programme and the international community’s support for it. At the meet-ing, Kristian Jensen will launch the Danish support programme for 2017-2020.

”Denmark is ready to invest up to DKK 1.7 billion from 2017 to 2020 to help Afghanistan to create security, stability, reforms and a better future for the Afghan population. We do this to help the hard-pressed Afghan population and because it is in our interests to combat terror and resist the migration flow. Danish efforts have made a difference over the past number of years. In the coming years we will focus on economic growth, education, and women’s and girls’ rights.

”Despite the solid plans of its government, Afghanistan continues to be a fragile state and a very hard place to create progress. We support the Afghan government’s reform ambitions, but these reforms must be put in place quicker for the population to see more concrete progress. This will be an important message today,” says Kristian Jensen. 

At the conference, Denmark and the international community will also discuss a number of political matters with Afghanistan’s government. For Kristian Jensen, the fight against corruption is especially important.

”Corruption is one of the worst obstacles for Afghanistan’s development and the government must work harder to fight it. In the area of schools, Denmark has put together a number of initiatives to resist corruption. I followed up on these during my visit in July and I will also be doing so today,” concludes Kristian Jensen.

The aim of the conference is to reconfirm the collaboration between Afghanistan and the inter-national community. Three specific products will be approved through the communiqué at the conference: a new set of obligations (indicators) which the Afghan government and the donors must comply with for the next two years, a new Afghan development strategy (Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework), as well as the donors’ complete commitment during the period 2017-2020.
28 EU member states, 47 other countries and 25 international organisations are expected to take part. Among the delegates are the Afghan president Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rabbani, Donald Tusk, High Representative Mogherini, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Afghanistan continues to be the largest recipient of Danish development aid, but with the new announcement, aid to Afghanistan will be adjusted with 15 per cent as has been the case with Danish development assistance in general. Danish development will in the future constitute 0.7 per cent of BNI. During the years 2013-2016 Denmark paid out approx. DKK 500 million annu-ally, while for the period 2017-2020 payments of approx. DKK 425 million are expected annu-ally.

The bilateral Danish development aid will be spent on education, good governance, human rights (including improving the rights of women and girls), as well as on agricultural improvements and other initiatives to promote economic growth. Denmark also provides significant humanitarian support to Afghanistan.

In 2016 Denmark has increased its support to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission, which trains, advises and supports Afghan security forces. Denmark has done this partly by continuing the financial support of DKK 100 million (approx. USD 15 mil.) to the security forces up to and including 2020, and partly by increasing our contribution totalling up to 100 troops.

For further information, please contact:
Press advisor Lars Peter Levy, tel. +45 41904124.

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