Norway is a great believer in the UN, both as an enabler of
humanitarian aid and development aid and as a legitimising institution.
Norway supports the Norwegian Special Envoy to Afghanistan, Kai Eide
and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
Norway also supports the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) financially. UNIFEM provides aid and assistance to projects looking to strengthen women’s political rights, human rights and economic security worldwide. UNIFEM’s goal in Afghanistan is to enable women to help transform their society into a functioning and economically prosperous state. As part of the UN Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women, UNIFEM has established an Elimination of Violence against Women, EVAW Special Fund. Also, UNIFEM has developed a National Action Plan for Women in Afghanistan, NAPWA, a plan that aims to ensure that the government can promote gender equality and empowerment in the sectors of health, education, security, economy, human rights and judicial protection.
For more information about UNIFEM, please explore the United Nations website:
Through the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime, Norway participates in the war on drugs. Through a program called “Drug demand reduction information, advice and training service for Afghan communities living in refugee camps”, Norway contributes to improve the capacity of healthcare professionals, social workers, teachers, community workers and community groups working with Afghan communities in target refugee camps in NWFP and Baluchistan. The project aims to address drug abuse and healthcare issues related to drug abuse, and is executed in close cooperation with the AFG/H09 project “Capacity Building for Drug Demand Reduction in Afghanistan”. This project is in cooperation with several other countries, and it aims to begin the process of improving capacity of Government counterparts, along with relevant UN agencies, NGOs and community groups in Afghanistan, to address the abuse and misuse of drugs and healthcare and socio-economic issues and problems relating to drug abuse/misuse. The project will be executed in Herat, Kabul and Mazar e-Sharif.
In addition to these projects, the Council of Ministers in NATO has decided that ISAF forces should be allowed to participate in the war against drugs in Afghanistan. This means that the ISAF troops are able to participate on invitation from the Government of Afghanistan in the fight against narcotics. The Norwegian Chief of Defence Sverre Diesen approves of the idea, and states that this has a clear military purpose; “Taliban buys weapons with its drug money. There are few other ways to use our troops more sensibly in the war against Taliban,” he says.
Finally, the UN is not the only third party receiving funds from the Norwegian government. In 2008, Norway decided to donate NOK 2 million to the Islamic Relief Worldwide. Some of this will go to projects in Afghanistan. Islamic Relief Worldwide has been working in Afghanistan since 1992 and set up an office in 2001 to respond to the conflict. Early projects combined emergency relief with development and included drought relief and food assistance. Current projects include education, water and sanitation, livelihoods support and rebuilding community infrastructure.