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Afghanistan gets $16 billion pledge from donors

Afghanistan received donations from about 70 countries and organizations around the world.

Hamid Karzai hillary clinton 7 7 2012Enlarge
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton walks with President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai to a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on July 7, 2012. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Afghanistan received donations totaling $16 billion from countries and organizations around the world, in a pledge of continued support to the country even after foreign troops pull out in 2014, the Associated Press reported

The aid, which was pledged by 70 countries and organizations at a one-day conference in Tokyo Sunday, will be closely monitored and used for development even after the withdrawal date, according to the AP. 

The United States, the largest donor to Afghanistan, said it will continue its assistance steadily throughout 2017 at its average amount of under $2 billion a year, the AP reported. 

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"We see this as a powerful symbol of our commitment to Afghanistan's future," Clinton said at a news conference after talks in Kabul with Karzai, Agence France Presse reported

Japan, the second-largest donor to the country, will provide up to $3 billion through 2016, the UK Press Association reported. Germany also pledged to continue donating its current level of $536 million a year through 2016.

Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, who attended the conference along with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, said that his country would require $4 billion a year in aid for civilians, Agence France Presse reported. 

"I request Afghanistan's friends and partners to reassure the Afghan people that you will be with us," Mr Karzai said in his opening statement at the conference, the UK Press Association reported. 

The $16 billion is around the amount that the World Bank deemed appropriate to help sustain Afghanistan's transition, according to the AP. 

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"I am encouraged that the member states are willing to mobilize $16 billion," said Ki-moon, the AP reported. "Afghanistan has made important progress, but the gains are fragile."

Afghanistan — one of the 10 poorest countries in the world — has received nearly $60 billion in development aid since 2002, according to the AP. The World Bank says foreign aid is almost equal to the country's GDP. 

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/afghanistan/120708/afghanistan-16-billion-pledge-development-aid