Norway pledges $130m in aid per year till 2017
MAIMANA (PAN): Norwegian ambassador Nils Haugstveit on Wednesday said his country would provide Afghanistan $130 million in aid on an annual basis till 2017 with focus on the country's education system and women's situation.
Haugstveit, who arrived in Maimana, the capital of northern Faryab province, told reporters $26 million of the annual assistance would go to Faryab, where it would be used by local administration, previously spent by the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT).
He said troops from his country had been assisting their Afghan counterparts in Faryab over the past eight years before transferring security responsibility to them seven months ago.
He observed the security situation had improved in the province ahead of next year's elections, saying Afghan forces were capable to maintain security on their own for the upcoming elections.
But Governor Mohammadullah Batash said rebel activities had lately increased in Faryab as some challenges hindering efforts at maintaining security remained unaddressed.
He urged donor countries, including Norway, to financially support his administration in areas of reconstruction and strengthening Afghan security forces. The governor said only eight schools out 230 had proper buildings in Faryab.
Haugstveit replied his visit was aimed at observing security and progress on development in Faryab, saying his country would spare no efforts in rebuilding Afghanistan.
Norway has so far executed nearly 4,000 projects, mostly reconstruction, in Faryab over the past eight years.
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