EU pledges new aid to Kabul in state-building contract
KABUL (Pajhwok): The European Commission on Tuesday announced a new financial assistance to the Afghan government in the form of a State-building contract, the commission said.
Through State-building contracts, the European Union (EU) provides direct budget support to countries in fragile and transitional situations.
The signing ceremony of the State-building contract took place Tuesday on the sidelines of the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan.
The agreement was signed by the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, and Afghan Minister of Finance Eklil Ahmad Hakimi in the presence of President Ashraf Ghani, the European Commission said in a statement.
At the signing ceremony, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica said: "Today's signature is an important step forward for the EU's development partnership with the Afghan government. “
He said the EU was committed to increasing the effectiveness of their aid, as a sign of their confidence in the Afghan side to deliver on its reform programme. “As the State-building contract is indeed a contract, both sides agree to play their part. We will provide the funding on the basis of satisfactory progress in key reform areas."
Hakimi, said: "The State Building Contract is an effective mechanism that aligns EU's development assistance with the Afghanistan's reform agenda. As an on-budget funding, it gives the Government of Afghanistan the required fiscal space to implement its development priorities that will improve the lives of the Afghan people."
The first State-building contract for Afghanistan would provide up to €200 million in direct budget support over a two-year period from 2017 onwards.
It would assist the government of Afghanistan in defining its own strategic development priorities and policies, as outlined in the new Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework.
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