Finland in Afghanistan

Finland supports Afghanistan through humanitarian assistance. Development cooperation was suspended in mid-August 2021. A stable and peaceful Afghanistan that respects human rights and complies with the principles of the rule of law is in the best interests of Finland and the entire international community.

Group of girls are walking beside a road. Behind them is a pit with big machines. A new looking car is parked in front of the pit.
In the 21st century more girls attend schools than before, and infrastructure has developed.

Afghanistan is facing enormous challenges, but positive development have also taken place during the past 20 years.  In particular, girls have better opportunities to attend school, and infrastructure and healthcare services have developed. Progress has taken place especially in central government institutions, but also at provincial, district and local levels.

To improve the wellbeing of its people, Afghanistan must strengthen its economy based on sustainable development and create conditions for new business and industry and jobs. It is important that Afghanistan benefit from its own natural resources, Afghan businesses manage to launch full operations, and the government develop self-sufficiency by raising revenue.

Finland's objectives in Afghanistan

The government report on overall support for Afghanistan, submitted to Parliament in 2018, outlines the main principles of Finland's support to Afghanistan. Finland and Afghanistan established a Partnership Agreement on bilateral cooperation in April 2013.

In its support for sustainable development in Afghanistan, Finland places importance on measures that contribute to:

  • better wellbeing, human rights and equality, with a special focus on the position of women and children in society.
  • improved internal security situation.
  • strengthening of democracy and compliance with the principles of good governance and the rule of law to a larger scale.
  • the development of a diverse foundation for the Afghan economy, based on the principles of sustainable development, with a special focus on increasing efficiency of agricultural operations and better conditions for the utilisation of natural resources.

 

Finland’s aim is to help Afghanistan develop into a country that does not pose any threat to international or regional security and that will cease to be one of the international hubs of illicit drug trade. In addition, it is important for Finland that Afghanistan is a democratic country and that the national reconciliation process gradually leads to a situation in which the citizens can concentrate on shared objectives for the development of their country.

Division of responsibilities in matters relating to Afghanistan

Finland’s policy on Afghanistan is conducted in cooperation by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior.  The parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee is regularly informed of the situation in Afghanistan and on actions taken by Finland.

The Embassy of Finland in Kabul maintains contacts and dialogue with the Government of Afghanistan and Afghan authorities, promoting the bilateral relations between Finland and Afghanistan and Finland’s interests in the country. The Embassy also participates in the planning, implementation and monitoring of development cooperation. In addition, it keeps the Ministry for Foreign Affairs updated of the country’s political and economic development and security policy situation.

Finland’s aim is to promote the development of Afghanistan also as part of the European Union and the Nordic and Dutch joint Nordic+ group.



2020 Afghanistan conference

Finland to suspend development cooperation in Afghanistan (MFA press release 17th August, 2021)