"The UK’s presence in Afghanistan over the last decade has helped improve security and prevent it from once again becoming a base of operations for global terrorists that would threaten the streets of Britain. We have improved the lives of Afghans significantly – with millions more children in school, better healthcare, and greater prosperity. But huge challenges remain – not least the continuing threat from the Taliban," Patel said in an article she wrote in The Independent.
"That is why the UK will commit up to £750m, from the aid budget, to Afghanistan between 2017 and 2020 to help create a more stable country and improve people’s lives – particularly for women and girls," she added.
Patel specified that that the money would also be used to provide education and health services, as well as to protect the internally displaced people in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is in a state of political and social turmoil, with government forces fighting the continuing Taliban insurgency, while other internationally banned groups such as the Islamic State have also expanded their activities both in the country and in neighboring states.