Norway to Cut Funding to Afghanistan

“These cuts are the result of a lack of willingness on the part of Afghanistan to meet its commitments from Tokyo in a number of areas, particularly its commitments to combat violence against women and to fight corruption,” said State Secretary Torgeir Larsen in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At a donor conference in Tokyo in 2012, Afghanistan reached agreement with its partners on mutual commitments for development cooperation. Norway pledged to donate NOK 750 million annually in civilian assistance until 2017, as long as Afghanistan stands by its commitments.

At a high-level meeting in Kabul on 3 July, Norway expressed dissatisfaction with the slow, uneven implementation of the commitments undertaken by Afghanistan in Tokyo. Norway’s ambassador to Afghanistan announced at that meeting that an assessment would be made of the structure and scope of the civilian assistance.

“We are deeply concerned about the widespread violence against women in Afghanistan. The Afghan authorities had promised to report on implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women by the July meeting. The report has not yet been submitted. This is not good enough,” said State Secretary Larsen.

 “Corruption is a vast problem, with the Kabul bank scandal as one example. Not enough has been done to prosecute all those involved, and not enough has been done to recover money that has been embezzled. This indicates that corruption is not being taken seriously enough by the Afghan authorities,” Mr Larsen said.

“We stand by our long-term commitments to Afghanistan. But these commitments are based on mutuality. We therefore urge the Afghan authorities to intensify their efforts to uphold their commitments,” State Secretary Larsen said.

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