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Estonia Helping Helmand Province Build Up Health Care Sector

19.12.2011

No. 418-E

The Foreign Ministry is supporting the outfitting of the health care employee training centre located in the city of Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan, as well as the general development of the health care sector in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the dedication and support of the international community remains essential for the building up of Afghanistan. In addition to a military contribution, Afghanistan also requires development aid until a situation is achieved in which the Afghans can manage the affairs of their own state and no longer depend on the help of donor countries. “Afghanistan needs the support of the international community, and Estonia’s contribution to help one of the poorest countries in the world is very welcomed,” said Paet.

The foreign minister noted that in recent years we have focused our development co-operation in Afghanistan on developing the health care sector of Helmand Province. “One very difficult circumstance in Helmand is the lack of qualified medical professionals. This is why Estonia is contributing to the outfitting of a health care training centre in the city of Lashkar Gah. The training centre will help to strengthen the feeble health care system, thereby helping to improve the quality of life of the people living in Helmand Province,” Paet noted.

The Foreign Ministry is also allocating funds to donate to the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF). Foreign Minister Paet stated that over 800 new schools have been established and 45 000 teachers trained with ARTF resources. Over 3 000 km of roads have been repaired in rural areas and a strong emphasis has also been placed on renovating the country’s energy supply system. “Also supported through the fund is the development of the health care sector in Helmand Province, which is a priority for Estonia,” he added.

The Foreign Ministry is supporting the development of Afghanistan’s health care sector by donating 65 000 US dollars through the United Kingdom’s Conflict Pool to support the outfitting of the health care training centre in Lashkar Gah and 250 000 euros through the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund managed by the World Bank.

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