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Netherlands pledges $12m for Afghan women uplift

Netherlands pledges $12m for Afghan women uplift

Oct 25, 2017 - 19:21

KABUL (Pajhwok): Netherlands’ ambassador in Kabul Geoffrey van Leeuwen on Wednesday said his country would provide $12 million to Afghanistan for women’s empowerment over the next three years.

Leeuwen told a gathering marking the launch of “Economic Stability with Support of Afghan communities program” in Kabul that the Netherlands was Afghanistan’s partner and would extend its support in different areas.

“We are sending strong massages to the people of Afghanistan that we will remain committed to your country not only in the field of security but also in the field of development,” he said.

He said his country was grateful to be a partner of the beautiful country.  Leeuwen believed the launch of the program would bring together all partners to meet several needs from economic development to empowerment of women and private enterprises.

He said Afghanistan had made good progress in improving women's capacity over the past years and Holland has been helping in this regard.

Within the next three years, he said, his country would provide, $ 12 million in aid through the ‘Economic Stability Program for the Afghan People's Communities.

Seyed Jalal Shah, executive director of the Agha Khan Foundation, who is implementing the project, said the program will be implemented in provinces of Takhar, Badakhshan, Kunduz and Bamyan, covering at least 1,500 women, in the next three years.

He added under the program women were trained in computer, sewing and other sectors, from one to six months.

He pointed out that the overall goal of the "Economic Stability Program” was to empower women.

Faizullah Zaki, acting Labor and Social Affairs minister, expressed satisfaction at the announcement by the Dutch envoy, saying that the aid was effective in economic development of women.

"The women of these four provinces can expand their businesses when have vocational education," he added.

Zaki asked donors to monitor implementation of projects supporting so the desired results could be achieved.

"I am confident that the effects of this project will have a direct impact on good governance and women's advancement in Afghanistan," said Minister of Women’s Affairs Delbar Nazari.

She expressed her support for the project and added the growth of household economics would play a key role in Afghanistan's economic growth, and empowering women in work priorities of the government.

"The root of most violence lies in poverty and economic discrimination, Afghan women need economic growth to fight poverty."

At the end, women from Bamyan, Takhar, Kunduz and Badakhshan provinces showcased their handicrafts at a show.