-- Joint Press Statement by the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of the Interior --
Now that the Kunduz region is becoming more important in economic and political terms, there is an even greater need for functioning transport links. Kunduz Airport is emerging as an important transport hub in northern Afghanistan. As a central cog in passenger and freight transport, it is bolstering the economic development of the entire region.
Today a new police headquarters built with Germany's help opened at Kunduz Airport. Thomas Ossowski, the head of the German Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Kunduz, and members of the German police team in Afghanistan handed the new police building over to the local police together with the provincial governor and the military commander of the PRT, Colonel Buske. As part of the EUPOL European police mission in Afghanistan, Germany will also be involved in training the police officers who will be stationed there.
This is to enable the airport police to take responsibility for the security needed for regional air traffic.
Germany is currently stepping up its support for the new police force and is making available a total of 2.9 million euro to build a network of 33 police stations in northern Afghanistan.
The new building concludes this project to secure strategically important infrastructure. Providing key transport routes and hubs with police posts helps promote trade in Afghanistan and bolster self-sustaining development.
The new airport police headquarters was built by an Afghan construction firm and planned by the Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) and the German police team in the Kunduz PRT. The construction work cost 225,000 euro.
The security forces which are part of the Afghan National Police had previously occupied a building without heating or running water that dated back to the period of Soviet occupation.
In its Afghanistan Policy Paper published in autumn 2007 the German Government had already stated its intention to intensify civilian reconstruction and create a denser network of activities on the ground. Under its so-called reconstruction campaign, Germany has therefore increased its funding for civilian reconstruction from 80 million euro a year to over 140 million euro in 2008. One of the priorities here is to strengthen Afghanistan's security forces. German support for the new Afghan police force has been tripled and now totals some 36 million euro.
Germany's commitment to civilian reconstruction up to 2010 now totals more than 900 million euro.