Norway Cuts Afghan Aid Over Absence of Growth on Women’s Rights

KABUL: (MEP) – The Deputy Foreign Minister Torgeir Larsen of Norway has said that on Friday they will cut its aid to Afghanistan in 2014 due to a lack of progress on women’s rights and efforts to combat corruption.

The Norway’s aid will be slashed from an annual 750 million kroner (S$157 million) to 700 million kroner, a reduction of about seven percent, Tolo news reported.

“We warned Afghan authorities in July that the consequences (of the reform delays) could be a reduction (in aid), and now this is coming,” Torgeir Larsen told daily Aftenposten.

A member of Norway’s outgoing government that lost September 9 general elections, Larsen said the exact details of the aid cut would be outlined in the 2014 budget his government is scheduled to present on October 14 – its last task before leaving office a few days later.

The 87 percent of Afghan girls and women have been subjected to some form of violence and 70 percent of policewomen harassed or sexually assaulted by their superiors, a report from the Norwegian embassy in Kabul quoted by Aftenposten said.

Norway has also has around 111 soldiers in Afghanistan and it lost 10 soldiers in the Afghan mission.

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