Building Afghanistan's future: Why the international community must stay engaged

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Building Afghanistan's future: Why the international community must stay engaged

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Afghanistan’s future remains fragile. Despite impressive efforts by the Afghan government and people to build a stable and democratic country, the increasing numbers of civilian casualties, refugees and migrants are a constant reminder that the country’s future still hangs in the balance. Sustained and smart engagement by the international community, in addition to people-focused domestic policies, is essential for continued growth and development.

Friends of Europe organised a Policy Insight with Eklil Ahmad Hakimi, Afghanistan’s Finance Minister, ahead of the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan in October which sought continued political and financial support for the country over the next four years.

  • How can the international community best help Afghanistan meet its many development challenges?
  • Which sectors of the economy need to be given top-priority to stimulate robust and sustainable growth and create economic opportunities, particularly for young people and women?
  • What can be done to increase private sector participation in new investment opportunities, especially in the renewable energy sector?

IMAGE CREDIT: CC / FLICKR – World Bank 

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Giles Merritt
Giles Merritt

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Giles Merritt is the Founder of Friends of Europe, and was its Secretary General between 1999 and 2015, and its Chairman between 2016 and 2020.

A former Financial Times Brussels Correspondent, Giles Merritt is a journalist, author and broadcaster who has for over four decades specialised in European public policy questions. In 2010 he was named by the Financial Times as one of its 30 most influential “Eurostars”, together with the European Commission’s President and NATO’s Secretary General.

Giles Merritt joined the Financial Times in 1968, and from 1972 until 1983 he was successively FT correspondent in Paris, Dublin/Belfast, and Brussels. From 1984 to 2010 he was a columnist for the International Herald Tribune (IHT), where his Op-Ed page articles ranged widely across EU political and economic issues.

In 1982 he published “World Out of Work”, an award-winning study of unemployment in industrialised countries. In 1991, his second book “The Challenge of Freedom” about the difficulties facing post-communist Eastern Europe was published in four languages. His book “Slippery Slope: Europe’s Troubled Future” (Oxford University Press 2016), was shortlisted for the European Book Prize.

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