Afghan insurgency challenge to region: UK minister
KABUL (Pajhwok): Armed insurgency and terrorism is causing immense suffering and posing a danger to the region, the British international development minister has said.
London remained determined to help the Afghan peopleand contribute to the stability of the region and the security of the UK, Rory Stewart said at an event in Kabul.
“British assistance has had a real impact in vital ways, and we remain absolutely committed to supporting Afghanistan over the years ahead," he believed.
Stewart also met President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and Minister of Finance Eklil Ahmad Hakimi, according to a statement from the British embassy. .
They discussed preparations for the upcoming Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, economic development and the reform agenda. Stewart reaffirmed the UK’s long-term commitment to Afghanistan, including through political support and development assistance.
At a girls’ education event, he heard how UK support has helped the number of Afghan children attending primary school rise from 4.3 million in 2008 to more than 7.2m by 2014.
Of these, 39 per cent were girls, up from virtually none under the Taliban, when girls were not allowed to go to school. The number of children going to school has continued to increase over the past few years.
The minister also met representatives from humanitarian organisations and heard about the impact that UK aid is having in the poorest and most vulnerable communities.
UK support has helped clear mines from 3.5 million square meters of contaminated land and enabled 106 communities to develop their own plans to prepare for and mitigate the effects of a natural disaster.
“I am delighted to be back in Kabul once again, for my first visit to Afghanistan as International Development Minister. It is incredibly important to support Afghanistan at this time,” the minister said.
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