According to a statement released by the office of the European Union (EU) Special Representative in Afghanistan, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica has said, “Afghanistan is at a critical juncture for the success of its state-building process. Our programme is linked to the achievement of jointly-identified reform priorities. It will contribute to improving service delivery to citizens, better management of public finances, strengthened accountability and respect for human rights – in particular the rights of women and children”.
During the signing of the financing agreement for €125 million programme to safeguard and increase the Afghan government capacity for public service delivery linked to specific development reforms the Afghan Finance Minister, Eklil Hakimi has said,”The National Unity Government is committed to deliver on its ambitious reform agenda to expedite economic growth, strengthen good governance and create jobs so that especially the youth of our country can see a viable future for themselves. The EU’s incentive programme is an important building block for our efforts towards increased self-reliance through mutual accountability with our international partners”.
The statement added that this support is in line with EU’s current bilateral development programme for Afghanistan for the period 2014 – 2020 and the commitments given by the international community at the 2012 Tokyo Conference to provide the Afghan Government with more flexible funding linked with progress on specific achievements as enshrined in the ‘Self-Reliance through Mutual Accountability Framework (SMAF)’.
EU support to Afghanistan
Since 2002, the EU has been one of the major donors providing official development and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. Between 2002 and 2014, the EU has provided more than €3.3 billion in assistance to Afghanistan. The EU’s development programme for the time period 2014-2020 focuses on vital sectors for growth and social stability, such as rural development and agriculture, health, rule of law and strengthening democracy and accountability.