Denmark’s strategy builds on past experiences in Afghanistan and it
seeks to comply with the Securing Afghanistan’s Future (SAF) report
from 2004 and later the Afghan National Development Strategy (ANDS).
The most emphasised goal in the SAF has been to combat poverty largely by raising human capital. The most important way to raise human capital is through education, and this has been a very salient issue for both the Government of Afghanistan (GoA) and the Nordic countries. The Government of Afghanistan has requested that funds be channelled as much as possible through the Afghan development budget and to the national priority programmes. The follow up has been successful, mainly because of the establishment of systems for supervision and transparency like the ARTF. Many things indicate that measures against corruption and towards aid effectiveness have a positive impact on donors. Denmark also contributes to the ARTF through the World Bank, and has so far contributed DKK 150 million to the reconstruction of the public sector.
The 2008-2012 Danish strategy document emphasizes the need for Afghan ownership and strengthening of Afghan authorities in order to gain legitimacy and accord the GoA credit for successes and gains. Because of the uncertain future development of the security situation in Afghanistan, Denmark emphasises the need for flexible solutions and aid programmes. Denmark will continue to channel a major part of its’ funding through the national priority programmes and as budget support. Also, bilateral activities in the areas of education, human rights and humanitarian aid will continue. To ensure maximum effectiveness these efforts will be coordinated and, if possible, co-financed by other bilateral donors or international organizations.
Since 2001, many important goals have been reached, though much work still remains. Denmark has contributed reforming the educational system in Afghanistan by building several schools and by printing textbooks. The Danish support for the government’s National Solidarity Programme (NSP), has contributed to the improvement of roads, sanitary facilities, irrigation channels, establishment of alternative income opportunities to help divert the narcotics business etc. Humanitarian assistance such as food aid and mine clearance are also on the list of contributions. Furthermore, the funding of public sector wages and training of public officials has been important tools to combat corruption and promote a safe and fair justice system. Denmark is also a main donor to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission.