Finland in Afghanistan

Finland supports Afghanistan through development cooperation, humanitarian aid as well as civilian and military crisis management. To ensure that Afghanistan is a stable and peaceful state 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.

Kuvassa on koulutyttöjä.
Of Finland’s development cooperation partner countries, Afghanistan receives most assistance. Photo: Elina Leväniemi/MFA

The challenges faced by Afghanistan are enormous, but there has been positive development as well. Especially the possibilities of girls to attend school have improved and infrastructure and healthcare services have developed.

In order for Afghanistan’s wellbeing to improve, the country’s economy must be further strengthened with a focus on sustainable development, particularly through promoting business and job creation. It is important for Afghanistan to be able to benefit from its natural resources and fully activate business operations in the country.

Finland’s objectives in Afghanistan

The support provided by Finland has been defined in the government report on overall support for Afghanistan, approved in November 2014. Finland and Afghanistan signed a partnership agreement on bilateral cooperation in April 2013.

Factors that are important for Finland in supporting Afghanistan’s sustainable development:

  • to achieve greater wellbeing, human rights and equality and especially to improve the social position of women and children

  • to improve the internal security situation in the country

  • to strengthen the country’s democracy and to promote compliance with the principles of good governance and the rule of law

  • to develop the foundation for the Afghan economy in diverse manners according to the principles of sustainable development, especially the improvement of the efficiency of agricultural operations and the prerequisites for the use of natural resources.

Finland’s goal is to help Afghanistan develop into a country that poses no threat to international or regional security and will not be an international hub for the production of illegal narcotics. In addition, it is important for Finland that Afghanistan is a democratically-led country and the national reconciliation process gradually leads to a situation in which the country’s citizens can focus on shared objectives for the development of the country.

Division of tasks in Afghanistan-related issues

Finland’s Afghanistan policy is jointly executed by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, the Defence Command Finland and the Ministry of the Interior. The Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee is regularly informed of the situation in Afghanistan and actions taken by Finland.

The embassy of Finland in Kabul maintains contact with the Afghan government and authorities. The embassy also monitors the country’s political and economic development and contributes to the execution of aid programmes.