Australia remains committed to Afghanistan's long-term security and stability, and continues to contribute to Afghanistan’s development, building on the gains of the last decade. Afghanistan faces substantial challenges as it undergoes three transitions: assuming responsibility for security by the end of 2014; undertaking presidential elections as the first peaceful change of executive power in Afghanistan's modern history; and responding to slowing economic growth as international forces leave Afghanistan.
Australia’s development assistance programme to Afghanistan is part of an integrated whole-of-government effort with security, diplomatic, and development objectives. The Development Framework Agreement 2012–17, signed by Australia and Afghanistan in July 2012, underlines both parties’ commitment to building the Afghan Government’s capacity to deliver basic services and provide economic opportunities to its people. The Afghan Government has agreed to make progress against commitments under the 2012 Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework, including economic reform, governance, anti-corruption, elections, and human rights, including the rights of women and girls.
Australian volunteer Tanya McQueen worked as a Rural Women's Programme Adviser in Afghanistan (credit: DFAT).
In 2014-2015, Australia will support the Afghan Government deliver its national priority programmes, including in health, education, rural development and infrastructure, by contributing to the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund. We will also:
- enhance education in Afghanistan by expanding access to schools, improving education quality, and increasing the Afghan Government’s capacity to deliver education services. Australia’s direct support will see more than 5,000 children, including more than 2,100 girls, enrolled in schools in 2014
- protect and promote human rights by providing support for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission to investigate human rights violations, assist individuals, and hold to account those who would abuse human rights
- empower women and girls by supporting their active participation in Afghanistan’s economic, social, and political life, including contributing to national efforts to end violence against women
- strengthen effective governance, by helping build strong electoral institutions, community participation in the electoral process, and strengthening the Afghan media’s ability to report on political issues. We will also provide targeted training and mentoring to over 500 civil servants responsible for procurement, planning and financial administration, to improve service delivery and budget-processing times in the ministries of Agriculture, Health, Public Works, and Education
- improve agricultural productivity by introducing more resilient varieties of wheat, provide job opportunities, and expand access to markets for Afghan families by helping them start locally-relevant, small-scale businesses
- support infrastructure projects such as the construction, refurbishment, and maintenance of roads in Uruzgan
- build resilience in partnership with multilateral and non-government humanitarian organisations by providing food for up to 1.9 million vulnerable Afghans, and by removing mines and explosive remnants of war. We will also help sustain the Afghan National Security Forces through ODA-eligible activities with Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior and Police.
Education in Oruzgan province, Afghanistan (credit: Jacob Simpson MACCA).
For more information on the administration, management and objectives of Australia’s programmes in Afghanistan, read:
Archived details of expenditure for this program for 2013–14 can be found here.
Archived details of expenditure for DFAT’s aid program, following the Government’s announcement on 18 January 2014 to revise the aid budget, can be found here.