The European Union today reconfirmed its long-standing solidarity and partnership with the people of Afghanistan, pledging support of €1.2 billion over the period 2021–2025 in both long-term and emergency assistance at the 2020 Afghanistan Conference “Peace, Prosperity and Self-Reliance”.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, speaking at the opening session of the conference, said: “With intra-Afghan peace negotiations having started, but terrible violence still causing great suffering for the Afghan people, Afghanistan is at a crossroads. The Afghan people can count on the European Union’s support for a prosperous and peaceful future for their country, but our support relies on democracy, human rights, and social progress being protected.”
Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, who announced the EU’s pledge at the conference and participated in a side event on anti-corruption, said: “A pledge of €1.2 billion for the next four years illustrates our commitment to the Afghan people. Our assistance will support the Afghan authorities’ agenda for democratic, sustainable development and modernisation, helping to lift people out of poverty, improve governance, reduce corruption and enhance the daily lives of the Afghan people.”
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, who co-hosted a side event on sustainable peace building, as well as a high-level meeting on international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians in Afghanistan ahead of the conference, said: “We are boosting our humanitarian aid to help those most in need. While it must never become a political instrument, humanitarian assistance, International Humanitarian Law and protection of civilians must be central in the ongoing Afghan Peace Process negotiations. The protection of civilian lives and respect of International Humanitarian Law in conflict cannot wait for the end of the peace negotiations. It must begin now”.