Afghanistan is a rapidly transforming country and continues to face significant challenges that require improvements in security, the economy, governance, and education. The past year saw a number of steps forward, including commitments from the international community at the Brussels Conference, positive developments in education, and declining levels of migration, but more support is needed to create a stable society. The Asia Foundation supports Afghan citizens through programs and partnerships focused on improving rule of law, access to and quality of education, women’s rights and empowerment, regional cooperation, and security.
Building Foreign Affairs Capacity
Over the past decade, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has increased its ability to manage relations with its neighbors and other countries. This includes strengthening the important role of the Ministry’s Regional Cooperation Directorate, with Foundation support. The Directorate represents the Afghan government in regional forums through the 14-member country “Heart of Asia” dialogue, and our efforts have bolstered the ability of the Directorate’s efforts to reduce tensions and improve relations in the area. Through the development of a research study on security cooperation, we worked with the Ministry to develop policy based on needs and trends. Finally, we supported more than 100 Afghan diplomats to develop English-language skills, an effort that took on special urgency after the president of Afghanistan issued a decree that diplomats must pass an English proficiency test to work abroad.
NEWS FROM AFGHANISTAN
Improving Access to Information
Our Kabul office works across Afghanistan to improve the access and quality of education. 77 schools and community libraries received library management training and 253 women from 32 provinces were awarded scholarships to private universities.
Afghanistan in 2016: A Survey of the Afghan People
The 2016 Survey of the Afghan People polled 12,658 Afghan respondents from 16 ethnic groups across all 34 provinces, including insecure and physically challenging environments. The annual survey is the longest-running and broadest nationwide survey of Afghan attitudes and opinions. Since 2004, the Survey has gathered the opinions of more than 87,000 Afghan men and women, providing a unique longitudinal portrait of evolving public perceptions of security, the economy, governance and government services, elections, media, women’s issues, and migration.
HIGHLIGHTS ACROSS ASIA
Promise and Flux in South Asian Electricity Trade
June 14, 2017
Infrastructure and Roads Investments in the Philippines
Forbes: Force Not Enough To Halt Islamic State-Inspired Violence In The Philippines
June 7, 2017
TIME: Afghanistan’s Front Line
June 7, 2017