Norway to maintain a high level of aid for Afghanistan

'Norway is a long-term partner for Afghanistan. We intend to maintain our current level of aid to the country, approximately NOK 700 million a year, in the period 2017 to 2020,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende. Mr Brende announced Norway's contribution at the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan today.

Representatives of over 100 countries and international organisations met in Brussels today to plan joint international and Afghan development efforts in the years ahead.

'Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world and has been the scene of armed conflict for several decades. If it is to become self-sustaining, the country will continue to need international support for many years to come. Our aim is for Afghanistan to be stabilised and to gradually become less dependent on aid. This will take time, and it will require clear and united leadership on the part of the Afghan Government,' Mr Brende said.

The support provided by Norway goes towards both long-term development and humanitarian aid efforts.

'Norway has increased its support for education for girls, and this will continue to be a priority in the time ahead,' the Minister said.

Maintaining the current level of aid is conditional on the Afghan Government delivering on its commitments.

'A political solution to the conflicts in the country is essential for achieving sustainable development and lasting stability,' Mr Brende said.

At the conference in Brussels, the Afghan Government presented the results of development cooperation so far and an ambitious national framework for promoting peace and development. The donor countries and Afghanistan agreed on a set of mutual commitments. The Afghan Government committed itself to implement reforms and development measures considered necessary to make the country less dependent on international aid in the long term. Afghanistan also undertook to strengthen democracy, governance and the position of women, and reduce corruption.