Press Release: UK Pledges £750m in Long-Term Development Assistance to Afghanistan
Date: 2 October 2016
UK Pledges £750m in Long-Term Development Assistance to build a stable, secure and prosperous Afghanistan
The UK has today pledged £750 million in new assistance to Afghanistan over the next four years, to provide the long-term development support needed to build a more prosperous, safe and stable country.
The assistance will capitalise on recent progress and will support the Afghan Government’s ambitious reform programme. UK aid will strengthen infrastructure and government systems, improve health and education services, support mine clearance, improve infrastructure and create the jobs and investment needed for Afghanistan to realise greater economic independence.
In addition, the UK is providing £15m in urgent response to the UN Flash Appeal to help returning refugees. This will provide emergency shelter, food, medicine & cash to highly vulnerable Afghan families, including women &children, many of whom have returned homeless with few possessions.
UK assistance is announced ahead of the Brussels Conference on 4-5 October. The UK calls on other donors to follow its lead and support Afghanistan’s transition to self-reliance. The UK will continue to hold the Afghan Government to account for delivery of its reform programme and will track progress against the shared targets agreed by government and donors, supported by civil society.
UK International Development Secretary Priti Patel said, “This new support from the UK will help to save lives and prevent an immediate humanitarian crisis. In the long-term it will help build a stable, secure and prosperous Afghanistan. Britain has a proven track record of supporting Afghanistan on its path to becoming a peaceful and stable nation. We are building on the work of the brave men and women of our armed forces and making sure that we deliver for the hopes and aspirations of the Afghan people.”
Ambassador Dominic Jermey CVO, OBE commented: “This ambitious pledge shows the UK’s enduring commitment to Afghanistan’s long-term development. Our support is based on the Afghan Government’s credible reform plans for the coming four years, especially their strong commitments to tackling corruption and the culture of impunity. These efforts will ensure Afghans citizens, men
and women, see the results of progress and improvements in their day to day lives, including better public service delivery and stability”
Between 2017 and 2020, it is expected that UK support will deliver:
- Improved health systems (including increasing the number of births attended by midwives to over 50%)
- Private sector led growth (expected to create more than 20 000 new jobs by 2023)
- Agricultural prosperity to reduce rural poverty (increasing rural incomes by £34m by 2018)
- Boosting education opportunities (including getting more girls into schools)
- Helping make Afghanistan mine-free by 2023 (and supporting families to use cleared land)
- Steps to tackle corruption (including support to the Anti-Corruption Justice Centre, to turn the corner in Afghanistan’s battle against high level corruption)
- Longer-term support to help reintegrate displaced peoples (helping them access land, permanent shelter, and jobs)
- Help to the Afghan Government to improve budget management (including supporting projects to provide tens of thousands of jobs)
Note to Editors:
The Brussels Conference will provide a platform for the Government of Afghanistan to set out its vision and track record on reform and provide an opportunity for the international community to set out ongoing financial and political support to Afghanistan.
Since the London Conference in 2014, the Afghan Government has delivered a number of key reforms including: successfully increasing tax revenue, joining the WTO to improve trade with its neighbours, and President Ghani has, with UK support, led a major anti-corruption drive.
UK support to date has helped the number of Afghan children attending primary school rise from 4.3m in 2008 to more than 7.2m in 2014. Of these, 39% are girls, up from virtually none under the Taliban. It has also had a huge impact in the poorest and most vulnerable communities, clearing mines from 35 square kilometres of land, as well as enabling 271 communities to develop their own plans to prepare for and mitigate natural disasters.
The £15m emergency humanitarian funding will go towards the recently-launched UN Flash Appeal which aims to raise $152 million (approx. £116.5 million) for the estimated 620 000 who will have returned by the end of 2016. The UK pledge will contribute 13% of the total requested by this fund.
For further information please contact:
Jenny JonesMobile: +93 (0) 796666071
Mobile: +93 (0) 798 085511
Below also find the links for our digital channels:
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.