Sunday, November 19, 2017

International donors pledge $16B in aid for Afghanistan

RECOMMENDED READING


TOKYO — International donors pledged today $16 billion in badly needed development aid for Afghanistan over the next four years when most foreign troops will leave as Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged the international community not to abandon his country.

The major donors' conference, attended by about 70 countries and organizations, is aimed at setting aid levels for the crucial period through and beyond 2014, when most NATO-led foreign combat troops will leave and the war-torn country will assume responsibility for most of its own security.

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

U.S. officials traveling with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the donors have made $16 billion available through 2015, which would be in line with the nearly $4 billion per year that the Japanese co-hosts had said they were hoping to achieve during the one-day conference.

Japan, the second-largest donor, says it will provide up to $3 billion through 2016, and Germany has announced it will keep its contribution to rebuilding and development at its current level of $536 million a year, at least until 2016.

But the donors are also expected to set up review and monitoring measures to assure the aid is used for development and not wasted by corruption or mismanagement, which has been a major hurdle in putting aid projects into practice.

Afghanistan has received nearly $60 billion in civilian aid since 2002. The World Bank says foreign aid makes up nearly the equivalent of the country's gross domestic product.

Foreign aid in the decade since the U.S. invasion in 2001 has led to better education and health care, with nearly 8 million children, including 3 million girls, enrolled in schools. That compares with 1 million children more than a decade ago, when girls were banned from school under the Taliban.

Improved health facilities have halved child mortality and expanded basic health services to nearly 60 percent of Afghanistan population of more than 25 million, compared with less than 10 percent in 2001.

Comments
German government talks collapse; Merkel seeks to reassure

German government talks collapse; Merkel seeks to reassure

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pledging to maintain stability after the Free Democratic Party pull out of talks on forming a new government with her conservative bloc and the left-leaning Greens, raising the possibility of new elections
Updated: 7 minutes ago

Owning dogs may be great for your heart and lower risk of death, study finds

Dog ownership correlates with lower rates of mortality and some fatal diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease, a study published this past week concluded.The study in the journal Scientific Reports found that canine ownership was associated wit...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
New Delhi's polluted air doesn't deter distance runners

New Delhi's polluted air doesn't deter distance runners

People breathing New Delhi's acrid air lately have suffered burning eyes and rasping throats, so the notion of thousands of distance-runners gulping down lungful after lungful may have seemed strange
Updated: 14 minutes ago
New Delhi's polluted air doesn't deter distance runners

New Delhi's polluted air doesn't deter distance runners

People breathing New Delhi's acrid air lately have suffered burning eyes and rasping throats, so the notion of thousands of distance-runners gulping down lungful after lungful may have seemed strange
Updated: 14 minutes ago

Top 25 Capsules

Top 25 Capsules
Updated: 17 minutes ago

AP Top News at 7:38 p.m. EST

AP Top News at 7:38 p.m. EST
Updated: 19 minutes ago
The Latest: Chargers, Patriots roll in Week 11 blowouts

The Latest: Chargers, Patriots roll in Week 11 blowouts

The Latest: There wasn't much drama in the afternoon games in Week 11 of the NFL season as the Chargers and Patriots rolled and the Bengals beat the Broncos
Updated: 19 minutes ago

Search suspended for missing Cortez boater who left from Egmont Key

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for a missing 63-year-old boater on Sunday evening, two days after he and his dog were reported missing five miles northwest of Mead Point, just inland from Anna Maria Island.On Friday, Fraser Horne of Cortez...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
The Latest: Junior chugs beer with crew members on pit road

The Latest: Junior chugs beer with crew members on pit road

Dale Earnhardt Jr. chugged a few beers on pit road with his crew following his final Cup race
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Jones: Even in victory, dread hangs over the Bucs

Jones: Even in victory, dread hangs over the Bucs

MIAMI GARDENS — A dark cloud is hanging over this football team.It’s a heaviness. A dread. A dread for what might have happened in the past and what might happen in the future.And that makes it hard for fans to truly enjoy what happened Sunday.The Bu...
Updated: 23 minutes ago