Afghanistan is progressively recovering from more than three decades of conflict. 2014 was a year of complex transition process in Afghanistan with presidential elections and significant drawdown of international security forces that started the 'Decade of Transformation' (2015 to 2024).
Today's Afghanistan is in a much better position on its human development than it was in 2001.
- Access to primary healthcare has increased from 9% of the population to more than 57%.
- More than 8 million students are enrolled in schools, with 39% of girls.
- New and rehabilitated highways and roads have cut travel times between the main regional centres by 75%.
- However, 39% of the population still lives in poverty.
- Only 26% of the population can read and write. Corruption continues to be a major problem, affecting the everyday life of Afghan citizens and undermining development.
The European Union has a long-term partnership with Afghanistan. Since 2002, the European Union has provided €3.66 billion in development and humanitarian aid, making it the fourth largest donor in support of the Afghan people. Afghanistan is also the largest beneficiary of EU development assistance; together with its Member States, the European Union contributes more than €1 billion in development assistance per year to Afghanistan. Co-hosting the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan on 4-5 October 2016 demonstrates our commitment to a close and long-term partnership.
In October 2014, the European Commission presented its Multiannual Indicative Programme for Afghanistan (MIP 2014-2020), outlining new development funding of €1.4 billion for the period 2014-2020, i.e. the €200 million per year.
The European Union focuses on agriculture and rural development, which are vital for employment and growth, health, security for citizens through the professionalisation of civilian policing and application of the rule of law, and State accountability through democratisation.
Gender mainstreaming is a crucial component of the EU's assistance: 53% of EU programmes have gender equality as a significant objective.
The government, while facing enormous challenges to assert control over security and development throughout the country, is committed to make progress on security, sustainable economic growth and domestic revenues, poverty reduction, protection of human rights, in order to build a functional democracy based on credible institutions and to hold transparent, inclusive and fair elections. The international community in turn, has committed to support Afghanistan in addressing sustainable socio-economic development and peace and stability in the country and in the region and maintain its levels of assistance 'at or near current levels' until 2020. The Afghan Government and the international community have established a framework for high-level political dialogue on their mutual commitments in the Self-Reliance, through Mutual Accountability Framework.
The European Union and Afghanistan are engaged in a constructive dialogue on migration, aimed at building a long-term partnership in this area in a spirit of solidarity. The EU provides international protection to many Afghans who have been forced to flee the country, while it is also working closely with the Afghan Government to develop cooperation on return and readmission of irregular migrants. There are many projects funded or under preparation by the EU in Afghanistan that contribute to addressing the root causes of migration from Afghanistan or to improving its management, thus contributing to the overall development of the country.