Norway backs away from promise of Afghanistan aid

Norway goes away from the promise of Afghanistan aidForeign Minister Brende.Photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt / NTB scanpix

 

In July 2012  Norway promised to spend 750 million per year up to 2017 on development aid to Afghanistan. In March 2016  Norway will make cuts in the help to Afghanistan – again.

In the summer of 2012  State Secretary Torgeir Larsen (Ap) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) stated that Norway was prepared to continue the high level of assistance of 750 million a year up to 2017.
The promise was confirmed when Afghan President Hamid Karzai visited Oslo in February the following year, when he and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (Labour) signed a strategic partnership agreement.
But already in the autumn of that year  UD announced that the aid would be cut by 50 million NOK in 2014.
Now  UD confirms to the news agency NTB that Afghanistan will get even less development aid this year than in previous years.

– If shielded
UD says that support for the whole of Asia will be cut by 193 million total this year, but the main partner Nepal and Afghanistan will be prioritized.
– It is therefore too early to say what  the overall level of assistance to Afghanistan will be in 2016, beyond that it is expected to be somewhat lower than in recent years, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry.
And this is the explanation from the government:
– The huge humanitarian needs in Syria and Iraq and increased expenses related to migration has made it necessary to reduce the allocations to several  high-priority countries and regions in this year’s budget.
Afghanistan is one of twelve countries that are given particular priority in Norwegian development policy. MFA stressed that Norway remains a long-term partner for Afghanistan, and that the country will still receive “significant Norwegian assistance” for several years.

 

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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