Australia and Afghanistan signed a Comprehensive Partnership Agreement [external link] and a Development Framework Agreement in 2012. We made a significant contribution to the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework between the Afghan Government and the international community and are committed to a long-term partnership in the decade beyond the 2014 transition of security to Afghan national forces.
Afghanistan’s development path will be an extended one, requiring sustained commitment and leadership from the Afghan Government as well as international donors. While much focus has been placed on the length of the international mission in Afghanistan, analysis by the World Bank indicates that over the course of the 20th century, even the fastest performing conflict-affected countries took, on average, between 15 and 30 years to move from situations of fragility to the development of an institutions-based state. Sustained engagement and support is important to protect the gains of the past decade and to build upon these.
Australia’s support is based on a clear poverty need; Australia’s national security interests; and notwithstanding the operational challenges, our capacity to make a difference with well-targeted development programs.
For more information on the administration, management and objectives of Australia’s programs in Afghanistan, read:
Australia has invested $482.2 million in Afghanistan in the previous three years. After more than a decade of international support, Afghanistan’s development achievements are remarkable. With the Government of Afghanistan and the international community, Australia has contributed to:
- increasing school enrolments from around one million in 2001 to more than eight million today, including over three million girls (38 per cent of all enrolments)
- rehabilitating and maintaining over 12,800 kilometres of rural roads
- funding for the vaccination of more than 428,000 children against polio across Afghanistan
- supporting family planning, antenatal care, postnatal care and vaccination for more than 311,000 women
- improving maternal health care, with at least 74 per cent of pregnant women now receiving at least one antenatal health care visit and increasing access to basic health care services and systems, particularly for pregnant women and children
- educating around 350,000 people in 18 provinces on mine risk
- training more than 30,000 people, including over 14,000 women, in human rights, and over 2,400 monitoring visits being made to detention centres, juvenile rehabilitation centres and child institutions
- supporting voter registration, resulting in the Afghan Independent Election Commission issuing almost 76,000 eligible people with new voter registration cards (including over 16,000 women)
- directly supporting more than 57,000 people across all 34 provinces with food rations, including 25,961 women and girls.
More results can be viewed under the ‘See our results’ tab above.
Australia expects to provide to $180.4 million in development assistance to Afghanistan in 2013–14.
The objective of Australia’s aid to Afghanistan is to build the capacity of the Afghan Government to deliver basic services and provide its people with opportunities to earn a livelihood. This helps promote stability and provide a basis for longer-term growth. The Australian aid program in Afghanistan focuses on:
- promoting opportunities for all—by supporting education and assisting national efforts to reduce violence against women
- building sustainable economic development—by supporting agriculture and rural development, and effective governance of the mining sector
- promoting effective governance—by investing in elections and human rights, enhancing public financial management and administration, and supporting security.
Australia will respond to humanitarian needs as required. We will focus assistance on the most vulnerable.