Progress report on Afghanistan
At a demonstration in Kabul
The German Government has adopted its new progress report on the situation in Afghanistan. The report describes the current situation in the country, outlines the different forms of international involvement and offers an outlook on upcoming events. Germany is and will remain one of Afghanistan’s most important partners. German troops still represent the third largest international contingent in the country. Furthermore, Germany is the third-largest contributor of funds for civilian reconstruction and the promotion of Afghanistan’s development. This is why an annual report to review Germany’s engagement and chart its future course is so important. In the meantime an interim report has been published, which is not yet available in English.
Light and shade
According to the German Government, the progress report shows that there is light and shade in Afghanistan: In its chapters on security, state structures and governance as well as reconstruction and development it outlines the progress achieved, but also clearly addresses aspects that remain problematic. In this context, it assesses the still difficult security situation in Afghanistan and comes to the conclusion that there have been slight improvements in 2012. The first ten months of the year have seen a decline in security-related incidents across the country. In northern Afghanistan, which lies in the Federal Armed Forces’ area of responsibility, the number of such incidents has decreased by 25%. The report also addresses the challenge posed by attacks on ISAF staff carried out by regular or supposed members of the Afghan security forces.
Since 2010 the progress report on Afghanistan for the information of the German Bundestag has been issued annually. Regular interim reports are published in summer. The reports are drawn up by the Special Representative of the Federal Government for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Michael Koch, in cooperation with the Federal Chancellery and the various ministries dealing with Afghanistan-related questions. The current report includes for the first time a list of priority measures to be addressed by the international community and Afghanistan before the ISAF mission comes to an end in 2014.
Rule of law, human rights and reconciliation
Afghan police checking a car and its occupants in Kabul
Although Afghanistan has made headway in establishing the most important government institutions, the progress report concludes that more needs to be done in this area. The chapter on state structures and governance states that goals such as good governance and the rule of law have not yet been fully achieved. Furthermore, officials abusing their authority and accepting benefits illegally pose an obstacle to Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development. The country still only ranks 180th in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. It must be noted, however, that Afghanistan’s media landscape is in good shape compared to that of other countries in the region.
Since the fall of the Taliban, the human rights situation in Afghanistan has improved significantly. A wide range of fundamental rights are guaranteed under the Afghan Constitution, which also envisages the establishment of an Independent Human Rights Commission. In practice, the rights enshrined in the Constitution are not adequately protected, however. The progress report also deals with the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan.
Lasting peace in Afghanistan can only be achieved if the national reconciliation and peace process advances. The progress report states that since the outbreak of the Afghanistan conflict, attempts to launch a process of understanding and political agreement involving the opposing militant forces have not moved any further.
Reconstruction and development
Girls studying the Koran in Heart
Afghanistan has developed tremendously in recent years. State revenue and per-capita income have risen significantly. But Afghanistan still remains one of the world’s poorest countries and will need the international community’s continued support. First and foremost, the population’s living conditions need to improve visibly. More than 40% of Afghan children are still malnourished, and access to education, drinking water and sanitation is improving very slowly.
Germany’s main areas of engagement are basic and vocational education, sustainable economic development, good governance, energy, water supply and healthcare. The German Government has pledged to provide Afghanistan with financial support of up to 430 million euros until 2016. These funds will be used for projects to improve people’s living conditions and promote good governance.
Progress reports on Afghanistan to date
- Progress report on Afghanistan for the information of the German Bundestag, November 2012 PDF | 1 MB
- Progress Report on Afghanistan - Interim Report June 2012 PDF | 1 MB
- Progress Report on Afghanistan December 2011 PDF | 1 MB
- Progress report on Afghanistan - July 2011 interim report PDF | 89 KB
- Progress Review on Afghanistan, December 2010 PDF | 37 KB
Last updated 26.06.2013