Embassy of Afghanistan – Building on the past, securing the future!

Building on the past, securing the future

By Ambassador Eklil Hakimi

Sunday, December 4, 2011

On the tenth anniversary of the historic Bonn Agreement that laid the foundation for the post- Taliban democracy in Afghanistan, the Afghan Government and the international community will once again gather in the same venue today to assess the achievements and challenges of a decade-long joint journey and to reiterate their mutual commitment to working together on the path forward. The past ten years have been marked by continued efforts and sacrifices by Afghans and our international friends towards peace and prosperity in Afghanistan, the region, and the wider world.
Thanks to the support and commitment of the international community, particularly the United States of America, this common journey has so far resulted in remarkable progress in various areas. To lay and consolidate the foundations of our young democracy, we have been able to adopt a new constitution, hold six successful elections, establish a new parliament, create an increasingly enabling environment for women, and foster the freest media in our neighborhood and a growing civil society. In the area of economic growth, our gains are promising. Our income per capita has grown from $150 in 2002 to over $530 today; we had a foreign reserve of just $180 million in 2001, today it stands at nearly $6 billion. And while our GDP per capita is still relatively low, our growth rate is one of the highest in the world.

In the areas of education and health, our achievements are historic. Under the Taliban there were less than one million students in school — all of them boys. Today almost 8 million Afghan children attend school, 39 percent of whom are girls.

In the health sector, as a most recent national survey (the Afghanistan Mortality Survey) shows, our efforts to increase access to basic health services have resulted in remarkable improvement in health indicators. Afghanistan has experienced dramatic declines in infant and under-5 mortality rates. Six out of ten women are now receiving prenatal care, and assistance during childbirth by a trained care provider has more than doubled — rising from 14 percent in 2003 to 34 percent today. As a result, far fewer women are dying from pregnancy-related causes than they did just a decade ago, and life expectancy at birth has risen to about 62 years, up some 18 years from previous estimates.

Additionally, ahttp://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/12/04/building_on_the_past_securing_the_future

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