Donors to pledge $16bn for Afghanistan
08 July, 2012
TOKYO: Donors at a major development conference for Afghanistan will pledge total aid of more than $16 billion for four years to 2015, Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said on Saturday.
Japan, which will co-chair the one-day conference on Sunday (today) with Afghanistan, will provide up to $3 billion for the five years to 2016, in addition to $1 billion for the war-torn nation's neighbouring states, he said. The total pledge of more than $16 billion will include part of the aid to be declared by Japan.
"This scale of pledge will satisfy the fiscal gap that the World Bank and the Afghan government have said would be needed for the development of the country," he said. Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who will be in Tokyo along with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon, has called for $4 billion a year in civilian aid.
Afghanistan fears donations could dry up when NATO pulls out in 2014, with the focus of the Tokyo meeting set on whether the international community will stay committed to supporting the country in the years after foreign combat forces leave. "Japan should contribute to making a systematic framework which will cover the so-called 'Transformation Decade' after 2015," Gemba said.