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World International donors meet to pledge billions in aid to Afghanistan

13:55  24 november  2020
13:55  24 november  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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International donors pledge billions for Afghanistan after Western troops go home. Delegates to the conference in Tokyo highlighted the need for International donor nations met in Tokyo on Sunday, where they pledged billion (13 billion euros) in aid to Afghanistan over the next four years.

Afghanistan Conference in Tokyo Donors Link Billions in Aid to Progress on Reforms. At a donor conference in Tokyo, the international community has pledged billion to support Afghanistan in the coming years. In return for the aid bonanza, President Hamid Karzai's government has committed

GENEVA (Reuters) - Dozens of nations began pledging billions of dollars in aid for Afghanistan at a conference in Geneva on Tuesday, hoping that peace negotiations recently begun between the government and the Taliban will end nearly two decades of war.

An Afghan girl receives free bread distributed by the government, outside a bakery, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Kabul © Reuters/Omar Sobhani An Afghan girl receives free bread distributed by the government, outside a bakery, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Kabul

During the lead up to the quadrennial international donors conference, diplomats reckoned Afghanistan could receive 15-20% less funding than the roughly $15.2 billion pledged at the last conference in Brussels in 2016 due to uncertainties over the peace process and difficulties getting commitments during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Donors pledged over billion in aid money at a conference on Afghanistan in Paris on Kabul, however, was hoping for up to billion in extra aid to implement an ambitious reconstruction Corruption concerns. Human rights and international aid groups are skeptical about the ability of the

The current cycle of financial commitments of international donors to Afghanistan , with just under billion in security assistance each year and .5 billion in civilian aid , expires next year. The discussion around the future of aid is happening amid what one Western official called a “perfect

"Despite our suffering, I want to be very clear that our commitment to negotiations with the Taliban remains firm...we must bring an end to the violence that is haunting our lives and robbing our children of the joys of childhood," Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said, joining the virtual conference in a video link from Kabul.

Also addressing the conference, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a ceasefire as soon as possible, with violence escalating while peace negotiators have have struggled to make progress since talks began in Qatar in September.

Keeping financing on a tight rein could provide foreign governments with some leverage to inject a greater sense of urgency into the peace process, diplomats said.

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International donors , led by the U.S. and Japan, agreed to provide Afghanistan with billion through 2015 in development aid —in return for fresh Afghan pledges on economic and "We commit to more efficient and effective use of the international community's assistance to Afghanistan

International donors pledged more than £10 billion today in badly-needed development aid for Afghanistan over the next four years when most foreign troops will leave, as President Hamid Karzai urged the international community not to abandon his country.

Uncertainty whether the compromises needed for peace might lead to backsliding on human and women's rights, has made some countries wary about making long-term commitments to an Afghan administration, which needs foreign money to cover about three-quarters of its spending.

Also, most governments are under intense pressure to make savings as they ramp up spending to help their own economies recover from impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and diplomats said.

The European Union pledged 1.2 billion euros ($1.43 billion)over four years but emphasised aid was conditional on strict requirements.

"Afghanistan's future trajectory must preserve the democratic and human rights gains since 2001, most notably as regards to women and children's rights," said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

"Any attempt to restore an Islamic emirate would have an impact on our political and financial engagement," he added, referring to the Taliban's previous rule between 1996 and 2001.

Britain, one of the country's top bilateral donors, said in a statement it would pledge $227 million in annual civilian and food aid.

Finland and the United Nations, who are organising the conference with the Afghan government, urged the international community not to abandon their commitments to the country as the United States withdraws troops.

"(Afghans) will need the ongoing support of the international community: political, financial, and technical. Now is not the time to walk away," said Deborah Lyons, head of the UN's mission to Afghanistan.

($1 = 0.8413 euros)

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Emma Farge; Writing by Rupam Jain and Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Opinions | Joe Biden is heading to a dead end in Afghanistan .
The president-elect and his team face a stark choice: complete withdrawal by May or keeping 2,500 troops in place indefinitely to conduct counterterrorism operations. On Feb. 29, the United States signed an agreement with the Taliban to bring peace to Afghanistan. The deal generated a lot of hope for a settlement to the 19-year war. The recent announcement by acting defense secretary Christopher C. Miller that U.S. military troops will be reduced to about 2,500 by Jan. 15 draws a curtain on those hopes. The incoming Biden administration should be sober about the future.

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