Norway increases support for civilians in Afghanistan

‘I am deeply concerned about the situation in Afghanistan. Norway is now providing NOK 220 million to the UN and the World Bank to support their efforts to enhance food security and ensure the provision of basic services such as health and education. It is essential that all children, girls and boys, are given full access to these services,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.

The Afghan people are contending with economic collapse, increasing humanitarian needs and restrictions on their rights. Women and children are particularly at risk in the current critical humanitarian situation.

‘The Afghan people are facing a tough winter, and we must not forget them. Norway is now disbursing NOK 220 million to the UN and the World Bank to support their efforts to maintain basic services and to enable the people in Afghanistan to support themselves. Norway has also increased its support to organisations that are working to promote human rights and women’s participation in Afghan society. None of the funding provided by Norway will go to the Taliban regime,’ said Ms Huitfeldt.

The Taliban’s return to power has led to an economic crisis and has exacerbated the humanitarian situation. Many Afghans are facing food insecurity, unemployment and poverty, and do not have access to basic services.

‘Over the past year, Norway has worked to mobilise assistance over and above humanitarian aid. Not for the Taliban, but for the Afghan people. This has been challenging in a country where we cannot cooperate with the authorities in the normal way. It has been a priority for Norway to ensure that the aid we provide benefits the whole population, women and men, girls and boys,’ said Ms Huitfeldt.

In the course of 2022, the UN and the World Bank have established large-scale programmes to prevent the collapse of vital sectors such as health and education. Other areas of focus are food security and job creation, in particular through the development of sustainable agriculture. These efforts are crucial to reduce the need for humanitarian assistance. In addition, Norway is maintaining its support for Norwegian and international organisations operating in Afghanistan that it has cooperated with for a long time.

Norway has provided close to NOK 200 million purely in humanitarian assistance this year. In total, over NOK 700 million in support has been allocated to Afghanistan in 2022.