World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Afghanistan Donor Conference A Failure

Institute For Afghan Studies (IAS)

“Tokyo Donor Conference on Reconstruction of Afghanistan Falls Short of Expectations!”

The Tokyo conference fell short of U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan's goal of raising USD 10 billion over the next 5 years. The 61 donor nations and the World Bank pledged USD 1.8 billion in fiscal 2002 as part of a USD 4.5 billion commitment over the next five years. Aside from being insufficient the current pledges may not all turn into actual contribution from experiences and examples elsewhere.

For a pledge to become a viable money unit it has to make it through several layers of bureaucracy. There can be problems at every step of the way and the end result would be for the actual usable money at the field to be only a fraction of the promised amount. The fate of an emergency start-up fund created in December to finance Afghanistan's interim government highlights the difficulty ahead. Only $9.7 million of the $17 million fund had reached Kabul as of January 17.

The head of the interim administration of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, returned to Kabul with a handful of promises that fell short of expectations. The task that lies before his month-old government is vast and complex. The Afghan economy is in ruin, the physical infrastructure is destroyed, more than two-thirds of Afghanistan's adults are illiterate, half its children are chronically malnourished, electricity is largely unavailable, and the country's harsh landscape remains strewn with land mines that kill or maim thousands each year.

There are plenty of reasons why the rich West should reach deeper into its pockets. First, battered as Afghanistan's infrastructure already was before Sept. 11, it has since been almost entirely flattened. Considering that the War Against Terrorism is costing the United States more than USD1 billion each month, it is hard to believe that the United States is offering a meager USD 297 million. Similarly, the leading Muslim country, Saudi Arabia pledged only USD 67 million a year for a three-year period. Other oil rich Muslim Gulf States seem to have side tracked from their cries of Muslim solidarity. Second, as with any other impoverished nation, aid will foster economic stability and trade with other countries while diluting the appeal of political extremism. Third, it can be argued that because Afghanistan's difficulties over the years have been compounded by foreign interference, the world has a particular obligation to help.

The Institute for Afghan Studies believes that while aid by Afghanistan’s neighbors is deeply appreciated, it should in no way be given or received in a spirit other than fraternal feelings for the Afghan nation. The IAS also questions the rather silent attitude of the Russian government, who as a direct heir of the former Soviet Empire, should have taken up the issue of payment of war damages to Afghanistan.

The Institute for Afghan Studies believes that there is need for a series of conferences regarding world participation in the reconstruction of Afghanistan and that those conferences should go deeper into the issue of pledging aid in a bid to addressing the real needs of the country. These conferences should be planned as soon as possible. Afghan authorities and the United Nations can work together on this issue.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news