Denmark promises continued assistance
LASHKARGAH (PAN): Denmark’s Minister for Development Cooperation Christian Friis Bach on Tuesday promised his country would continue assistance to Afghanistan beyond 2014, when most international combat troops would leave.
At a meeting with the Helmand governor at the provincial reconstruction team (PRT) office in Lashkargah, the visiting minister said his country would give Afghanistan $100 million annually over the next five years.
Denmark would spend part of its aid on development, supporting the provincial administration and strengthening local-level governance in Helmand, Bach explained.
One objective behind his visit to Helmand was to assess the current situation and utilisation of Denmark’s aid to the province. With the security situation improving, Afghan forces’ morale had also seen a boost, he said.
As agricultural yield had increased, the Danish minister said they were trying to find a market for the products of Helmand within and outside Afghanistan.
Speaking on the occasion, Governor Muhammad Naeem said Danish had been spent on infrastructure projects. He particularly mentioned Denmark’s cooperation with Helmand’s education sector.
The governor urged his interlocutor to focus Danish aid on strengthening the agricultural system and thereby enable Helmand residents to stand on their own feet.
Having 750 soldiers within the ISAF framework in Greshk district, Denmark has given Afghanistan $605 million in development aid since 2002.
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