World pledges $16 billion aid package to Afghanistan
Mon Jul 09, 1:22 pm
The participants of Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan, ended Sunday, have pledged $16 billion dollars of aid to the civilian sectors and the strengthening of economic infrastructures of Afghanistan. The aid money will be given over a four year period in $4 billion dollar increments, according to the plan that was discussed.
The long-awaited Tokyo Conference was attended by more than 70 representatives of different world countries including the Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
Addressing the participants, President Karzai promised to eradicate corruption and improve good governance.
Referring to the past ten-year achievements of his government, President Karzai said, “Despite all of the advances made during the past ten years, our economy is still vulnerable. Insecurity is the main challenge for Afghanistan’s prosperity. Years of hard struggle remain and continued support from our international partners will be required for our country’s stability and self-sufficiency.”
Emphasizing the importance of the continuation of international aid to Afghanistan, the UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon said, “Failure to invest in the sectors of good governance, justice, human rights, employment and social development can jeopardize the achievements made during the last ten years.”
The donor countries to Afghanistan have conditioned their aid to Afghanistan on good governance, an ongoing fight against corruption, and implementation of human rights, especially women’s rights as essential pre-conditions of the aid package.
Calling for reforms to protect the gains of the past ten years, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the reforms should contain eradication of corruption, strengthening of rule of law and the increase in Afghans’ access to economic opportunities. She emphasized the importance of including women in economic sector development plans.
Mrs. Clinton added that the US assistance to Afghanistan would continue until 2017. She said this assistance would be carried same as they did in the past ten years.
The Tokyo Conference ended with the participating countries pledging $16 billion dollars of aid to Afghanistan.
During the conference, Afghanistan presented a 12-artilce draft focusing on the health, education, security and agriculture sectors.
The US, UK, Japan and Germany are the top aid-giving countries.