Monday, July 09, 2012 -
Donor countries vowed on Sunday to give $16 billion in development aid for Afghanistan through 2015 to help prevent the conflict-ravaged country from slipping back into turmoil when NATO troops pull out.
The pledge to provide the Afghan government around $4 billion per year came out of a donor conference in Tokyo attended by delegates of around 80 nations and international organizations.
However, the central bank of Afghanistan said it needed $6 billion annually over the next 10 years to rebuild the country’s economy.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the participants that an absence of war is not the only measurement of security in Afghanistan.
“It [also] has to be measured by whether people have jobs and economic opportunity, whether they believe their government is serving their needs, whether political reconciliation proceeds and succeeds,” the Reuters news agency reported Clinton as saying.
The donors also called on the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai to enact reforms to cut into rampant corruption.
Up to 20 percent of the aid may be tied to Kabul achieving benchmarks on good governance measures and fighting corruption.
It also requires that the Afghan government ensures fair elections in 2014 and delivers on other reforms to secure further aid beyond that promised in Tokyo.