Afghanistan has made significant development progress over the last decade but challenges remain.
Millions more boys and girls are now in school and 85% of people now have access to health facilities (compared to 9% in 2002), but Afghanistan is still one of the poorest countries in the world.
As foreign forces withdraw from Afghanistan, the country’s stability and security will depend on continued long term support from the international community. If life for people in Afghanistan continues to improve - with improved security, better health, education and job prospects - greater stability will be built in Afghanistan, the wider region and beyond.
The Tokyo conference brought the international community together to agree support for Afghanistan’s development. Afghanistan will require significant assistance for the next decade or key services and security will be put at risk and the country may not stand.
Read the full text of the Tokyo Declaration.
Speaking from the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said:
Britain has led the way here, with our commitment to maintain our funding at its current level through to 2017.
We have also accepted a request from Afghanistan and Japan to host a ministerial meeting in 2014 to review progress against Afghan and International commitments agreed today in Tokyo.
The consensus reached today will give Afghans confidence in the future, with the international community pledging firm support to 2015 and agreeing to help meet the budget shortfall through to 2017 and beyond.
For their part, the Afghan Government has committed to economic and governance reforms, including tackling corruption and promoting human rights, especially those of women.
Why does Tokyo matter?
It is only right the international community continues to help Afghans to lift themselves out of poverty. For this to happen, countries need to commit to stand by Afghanistan for the long-term, and provide concrete aid pledges for at least the period up to 2017.
At the NATO Chicago Summit on 20-21 May, the international community demonstrated its continuing support to Afghanistan by agreeing future funding for Afghanistan’s security beyond 2014. This sent a clear message to the Afghan people that we will not abandon them, and a clear message to the insurgency that they cannot wait us out.
Taken as a package, Chicago, Tokyo, the US/Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement, the UK Enduring Partnership Agreement and other bilateral agreements send a powerful message to the Afghan people, the Taleban and the region that we are there for the long haul.