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.
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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid