Concentrating more on health and education this time, the Australian government will be jacking up its aid to Afghanistan by $115 million over the next two years. The funds will be released primarily for central Oruzgan province, where conditions are especially desperate and reconstruction is heavily needed. According to foreign minister Alexander Downer, the aid package was designed to “improve the delivery of essential services such as health and education, strengthen agricultural production and help build security and stability” in the country. “If we can assist with broadening the quality of education to young people?in Afghanistan, I can’t tell you how important that contribution will be in the medium term?in reducing terrorism,” Downer later said. Since 2001, Australia has dispensed $450 million in relief funds to Afghanistan, and has demonstrated full support for the region’s elections, the adoption of its new constitution, and the improvement of its health, education, and governance sectors.
Source: Canberra boosts Afghan aid (The Australian)