PICTURED ABOVE: Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Afghan donors offer $16B in development aid
International donors offered $16 billion in development aid for Afghanistan on Sunday to show there will not be a mass exodus from the country after most foreign troops pull out in two years. They stressed the aid will be closely monitored to assure it is not squandered through corruption or mismanagement.
Donors from about 70 countries and organizations, at a one-day conference in Tokyo, set a baseline for aid in the crucial period through and beyond 2014, when most NATO-led foreign combat troops will leave and the country will assume responsibility for most of its own security.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the country faces a hard road ahead, but vowed to improve security and fight corruption as it moves toward a more self-reliant future.
The $16 billion through 2015 is near what the World Bank believes Afghanistan needs to close the gap between how much money it can afford and how much it needs to sustain its transition. The Japanese hosts had said before the conference that they hoped to get pledges of nearly $4 billion per year, so the result was roughly what they had expected.
A follow-up meeting is to be held in Britain in 2014.
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