On 20 April, 2012 NATO's North Atlantic Council gathered together Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the states which contributed in International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF). At this meeting, Azerbaijan has been presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov. During his speech, the Minister noted that Azerbaijan Government is providing non-military assistance to Afghanistan fully supporting ISAF activity. “This is just first steps taken in this sphere”- said Mr. Mammadyarov.
During visit of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to NATO Headquarters in February of this year, he declared that Azerbaijan will contribute one million Euros to Afghanistan National Army Foundation within non-military assistance of Azerbaijan Government to Afghanistan.
Taking into consideration the specific needs of Afghanistan, different institutions of Azerbaijan like Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy, ANAMA and Boarder Service Academy, implement education and training programs in Afghanistan. Recently, ANAMA produced and distributed among Afghani schools 24,000 textbooks and 1,500 teacher manuals on mine risk education translated to Dari and Pashto. “This was highly appreciated by our Afghani friends”, said E.Mammadyarov.
Azerbaijan is expanding its engagement in non-military spheres by contributing to the development of capacity building in Afghanistan. Practical projects are developed to train Afghan civil and military personnel. ANAMA initiated Mine Action Assistance Program to support Department for Mine Clearance (DMC) of Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) since 2008.
Afghanistan is suffering from the existence of thousands of mines and ERW and about 40 people – men, women and children are losing their lives on monthly basis because of the explosions caused by mines and ERW.
As of March 2012 Government of Azerbaijan financially contributed AZN 236,263 (USD 300,475) to the ANAMA mine action program for Afghanistan. This also includes publication and shipping of 24,000 textbooks and 1,500 teacher manuals to Afghanistan.