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Afghanistan: Civil Society Organisations

Volume 690: debated on Wednesday 21 March 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will publish a summary of the United Kingdom's aid to civil society organisations in Afghanistan that are promoting human rights, equality, and the rule of international law; and what assessment they have made of the combined effects of international aid in these sectors on public opinion in Afghanistan.[HL2615]

Each year the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) publishes a comprehensive summary of the UK's aid to civil society organisations promoting human rights, equality, and the rule of law overseas in the FCO 2006 Annual Human Rights Report (published in October 2006). Copies are available in the Library of the House. The report provides an overview of the main challenges to human rights in Afghanistan and explains the Government's activities to promote human rights throughout the country. After more than 25 years of conflict, Afghanistan's reconstruction and development remains a long-term endeavour. Challenges remain, particularly in the south. But the Afghan people are starting to see results across much of the country, particularly in regions where security has been restored. An ABC News/BBC World Service poll published last December shows that 74 per cent of Afghans consider that their living conditions are better than under the Taliban and eight in 10 Afghans support the presence of international troops in their country. While life in Afghanistan is far from easy, most Afghans are conscious of the important amount of resources allocated by the international community to the security and reconstruction of their country. Most Afghans continue to rely on international forces to re-establish the security necessary for reconstruction and development. The enduring unpopularity of the Taliban—89 per cent of Afghans view them unfavourably—and the levels of support for the current Government, are testament to the fact that the Afghan people consider that Afghanistan is heading in the right direction.

The ABC News/BBC World Service poll is available at

The very comprehensive Asia Foundation Survey for 2006 might also be of interest. It is available at survey06.html.

Information on the Afghanistan National Development Strategy is available at