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EU approves €100m package for Afghan reforms

EU approves €100m package for Afghan reforms

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Aug 21, 2017 - 20:42

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The European Union (EU) on Monday approved a €100 million package to support Afghanistaninfo-icon in carrying out reforms in key sectors.

A joint statement of the EU delegation in Kabul and the Ministry of Finance said the package was aimed to improve Afghanistan’s development policies, maintain macroeconomic stability, advance sound public financial management and strengthen state budget transparency.

The EU's decision follows a positive assessment on progress in these reform areas over the last twelve months against the background of a challenging security situation. The package is part of a State Building Contract (SBC) signed with the Government of Afghanistan during the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan on October 4 2016, the statement said.

Afghan Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi on the occasion said: “The approval of this allocation means that Afghanistan has been making significant progress in crucial areas such as public policy, macroeconomic, financial management and budget transparency and oversight.”

He said they welcomed conditionality-based mechanism, such as the State-Building Contract, because they gave the Government of Afghanistan flexibility and fiscal space to respond quickly to the country’s evolving development priorities.

Franz-Michael Mellbin, EU Special Representative and Head of Delegation, said: "The allocation approved today is a very tangible demonstration of the EU's long-standing commitment to Afghanistan and its people.”

He said: “Following an overall positive review of progress on key reform commitments, the EU's State Building Contract makes a direct contribution to the National Budget and provides the Government of Afghanistan with substantial financial resources and flexibility to allocate these where they are most needed.”

He said the purpose of the package was to improve services to the population, boost economic growth and reduce poverty at a time when Afghanistan continued to face major security, economic and political challenges.

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