Good governance and economic growth both crucial for Afghanistan
Afghanistan needs economic growth and good governance just as much as security. The Netherlands has stressed this point at the NATO Summit in Chicago, prime minister Mark Rutte has told journalists.
Today the NATO allies will consider the strategic plan for Afghanistan from 2015 to 2017. The country will then be responsible for its own security, with funding from the international community. The Netherlands will contribute an annual €30 million: €25 for policing and €5 for the armed forces.
Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal said that good governance, a fair justice system and the rule of law were just as important. He added that it is the Afghan government’s responsibility to ensure that the country is being properly run. Good governance inspires confidence – an essential condition for economic growth.
Mr Rutte referred to the cultivation of opium poppies. This will only end when Afghan farmers have confidence in the governance system and are willing to risk switching to a different crop.
Despite setbacks, both Mr Rutte and Mr Rosenthal believe that Afghanistan is moving ahead. Since 2002, health care, education and infrastructure have gradually improved. There are now eight million children attending school, including three million girls.