News / Asia

Afghanistan Promises to Fight Corruption as Donors Pledge Billions

Participants at an international conference on Afghan civilian assistance pose for a group photo at a hotel in Tokyo, July 8, 2012. Participants at an international conference on Afghan civilian assistance pose for a group photo at a hotel in Tokyo, July 8, 2012.
x
Participants at an international conference on Afghan civilian assistance pose for a group photo at a hotel in Tokyo, July 8, 2012.
Participants at an international conference on Afghan civilian assistance pose for a group photo at a hotel in Tokyo, July 8, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
TOKYO — Senior officials from the international community are pledging billions of dollars more in civil aid for Afghanistan amid concerns terrorism and corruption still threaten progress made in the country during the past decade. 

Afghanistan is receiving $16 billion in additional pledges of development aid for the next four years.  But there will be more strings attached to the new assistance.

At a conference in Tokyo Sunday, donor nations and organizations reached agreement with Afghanistan on a framework for accountability.  Some money will be withheld if the country cannot meet benchmarks for improving governance and finance management, as well as safeguarding the democratic process, the rule of law, and human rights, including those of women and girls.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is promising donors a vigorous fight against corruption.

Some critics contend much of the $60 billion of aid from the international community since the Taliban was ousted by the U.S.
military more than a decade ago, has been squandered.

There has been notable progress, Afghanistan's per-capita gross domestic product of nearly $600 is five times higher than it was a decade ago.

Karzai, noting the successes, also acknowledges his country remains a dangerous place.

"Afghanistan continues to face grave risks from common threats, notably terrorism and extremism," he said.  "These threats do not affect Afghanistan's security alone.  Indeed the region as a whole and the world beyond will not be secure for as long as the menaces of terrorism and extremism persist, enjoying sanctuaries and support in some corners in the region beyond Afghanistan's borders.”

Officials from nearly 60 countries, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, converged in Tokyo for the conference.

The United Nations sent representatives from a dozen of its agencies.  U.N. Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, used the opportunity to make a plea to help ease Afghans' “worries that they may be abandoned” after foreign military forces draw down.

“I have been urging member states that their support for Afghanistan should not be on temporary or short-term measures," he said. "They should be based on medium or longer term."

NATO ends its combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014 and the United States will also significantly reduce the number of its military forces in the country.

Japan Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba acknowledges the new financial commitments come amid tough economic times globally.

Gemba says even though Japan and other nations face severe fiscal restraints they agree that such help to Afghanistan remains critical for that country's peace and prosperity.

Japan is the second-largest donor, after the United States, of civil aid to Afghanistan.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Fatima from: Los Angeles
July 09, 2012 2:46 PM
I think what we are missing here is the aid is coming from other countries to Afghanistan and not from US so they are not turning from their Citizens but realizing a war and its effects to the US and using their alliances. Lets not forget we received similar aids back in WWI from germany and other european countries. Would u rather the US walk away NOW and let the Talibans get stronger again and come attack our US Citizens here and again and remind us of 9/11. Lets look at history before posting something.


by: wingding from: chicago
July 08, 2012 9:02 AM
Another fairy tale being told to us by our government.


by: Anonymous
July 08, 2012 8:31 AM
>Afghanistan's per-capita gross domestic product of nearly $600 is five times higher than it was a decade ago.


Either you are missing a word, maybe billion, or 600 dollars isn't bad for a gross domestic product, better then 120 dollars ten years ago.


by: Vickie from: Tennessee
July 08, 2012 8:19 AM
Yes, let's send $Billions when our own citizens are in need. When did the US turn on its own citizens? When Obama was elected.


by: Alan Klopman from: Miami
July 08, 2012 8:15 AM
Afghanistan will suck up all the money given and then continue being the opium supplier to the world. This country is corrupt and will gladly take any monies the international community gives it but will not change as the only thing they understand is radical Islam and military force.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid