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


Afghanistan: Doubling Reconstruction Aid Needed

Afghanistan: UN Official Calls For Doubling International Aid For Reconstruction

Calling for at least doubling international assistance for Afghanistan, a senior United Nations official said today that international financial commitments were neither large enough nor coming in fast enough to guarantee the war-ravaged country's reconstruction.

"I would say that even very conservatively one would have to double the amount of assistance coming into this country to really assure that Afghanistan can really get on the road to recovery," Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Nigel Fisher, told a briefing in Kabul, the Afghan capital. "So we're still far short of that goal."

Noting that at a meeting in Tokyo in January there had been a commitment of $4.6 billion to Afghanistan, Mr. Fisher said: "(It) sounded like a lot of money, but when the World Bank and the UN made an estimate of what was actually needed in this country for the next three years, they estimated conservatively $13 billion and optimistically $19 billion. So you put the $4.6 billion commitment for reconstruction in that context it's not enough."

He pointed out that the Afghan government requested $2.2 billion for this year's budget, while promises by the international community made in Brussels in March totalled just under $2 billion, even without counting additional costs for elections.

The speed at which commitments were coming in was also inadequate, Mr. Fisher said. He cited the Law and Order Trust Fund, necessary for reforming the police, which needs $121 million dollars this year but has so far only received $11 million. The Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund is seeking $600 million this year but has only got $63 million. The UN has a programme this year of $728 million dollars but has so far only got $220 million.

But Mr. Fisher also pointed to improvements in the country. Some 2.4 million devices were destroyed last year in de-mining action. Last year's wheat harvest of 2.6 million tons was an 80 per cent increase over 2001. This year's harvest is estimated at 4.6 million tons, 64 per cent better than 1978, the last year of normal production before the wars began.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>



Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC