Photograph of Danish Minister for Development Aid Flemming Møller Mortensen with the conference banner in the background

Minister for Development Aid: I want to secure more money for NGOs in Afghanistan

Mission East participated in a conference on September 10, which focused on Afghanistan and how Denmark and especially NGOs act after the takeover of the Taliban. In his speech, Minister for Development Aid Flemming Møller Mortensen promised more money for the NGOs present in Afghanistan and faster case processing for strategic partners such as Mission East.

Minister for Development Aid Flemming Møller Mortensen (S) started by praising the NGOs present. After his speech, I greeted the Minister, who sent his warmest greetings to Mission East staff.

"You do an extremely important job"

- You deliver an extremely important job in an extreme situation. And have done so for many years, he said in the post to the NGOs, expressing great concern about developments in Afghanistan. Concern about the humanitarian impact, about security and the prospect of financial collapse.

- I fear that fundamental human rights are being violated. Especially for women, young people, minorities and activists. The groups we have focused so strongly on for 20 years. Many years of positive results are at risk of being lost, he said.

"We are ready to support more"

Like most, the Minister for Development Aid does not know the full consequences of the Taliban's takeover, but he expressed great determination that Denmark and the world must stand together with the Afghan people now:

- It is important that Denmark and the international community get involved and do not let the civilian population down. We must ensure the maintenance of humanitarian efforts. If we can, we will stay there - yes, that is my wish and hope, he said, reiterating promises of support for the NGOs that stay and deliver.

- We support - but you must know that we are ready to do more! We must support people where they are. That is why I am glad that you are there and that you have managed to stay in the area.

Strengthens the resilience of the population

But there is a need for more than humanitarian aid, pointed out Flemming Møller Mortensen.

- We must also support the resilience of the population and prevent displacement. Strong efforts in local areas and on escape routes are crucial. There is a risk of refugee and migration pressure on Europe. We want to ensure continued engagement in Afghanistan and the surrounding areas.

- We are ready to increase support for Afghanistan. It is important that we are there right now and making an effort. Because otherwise the situation could escalate, leading to even more extremism, more displaced people and refugees.

Mission East is ready for work

Mission East's Secretary General Betina Gollander-Jensen is pleased that the Danish Minister for Development Aid understands that time is a factor and that aid must now reach the needy in Afghanistan, just as we must already now think about the long term and also plan activities that create resilience in the local population.

- The Minister is absolutely right that the NGOs are some of the only and best to provide the help needed for now - and there I can just say that Mission East is ready! she says.

There is a need to be able to act quickly

When questions were opened at the conference, the Minister for Development Aid repeated the promise to the NGOs present, who in addition to Mission East were the Danish Refugee Council, the Danish People's Aid and DACAAR, which arranged the conference.

- There is nothing more important to me right now as a minister about the crisis we are seeing right now in Afghanistan than that we can give a quick response. I will probably have to make sure that there are more funds. And we are working with less bureaucracy to top up with more money for the organizations that are strategic partners.

- We can see how the world can develop quickly and many times in the wrong direction. Therefore, there is a need for us to be able to respond quickly.