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Summary: Intl Conference In Support Of Afghanistan

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 12, 2008

Summary of U.S. Assistance: International Conference in Support of Afghanistan

The United States renewed its support for Afghanistan today, June 12, by pledging $10.2 billion for security and reconstruction assistance at the International Conference in Support of Afghanistan. This includes $3.1 billion in assistance appropriated in fiscal year 2008 (part of a total of more than $26 billion in U.S. assistance appropriated for Afghanistan since 2001) and an additional $7.1 billion in assistance for Afghanistan in fiscal years 2008 and 2009. The $7.1 billion is subject to Congressional approval. The United States is the leading donor to Afghanistan and has committed increasing amounts of security, reconstruction, governance, and humanitarian assistance since 2001.

U.S. assistance supports priority needs identified in the Afghanistan Compact and the new, five-year Afghanistan National Development Strategy. In line with these priorities, we plan to expand our rural development and local governance efforts and to continue our focus on roads and power. The UN has estimated that the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections to be held in 2009 and 2010 will cost approximately $475 million. The United States plans to fund a similar percentage of the cost of these elections as we did for the 2004 and 2005 elections (approximately 35 percent). Funding will include support for voter registration, an immediate need .

The United States has provided assistance in the following sectors:

Security: The United States has provided extensive security assistance to Afghanistan, focusing on the training, equipping, and mentoring of the Afghanistan National Security Forces. The Focused District Development program, launched in November 2007 by the Afghan Ministry of Interior with U.S. support, is intended to concentrate training, equipment, mentoring, and Afghan leadership in priority districts in an effort to rapidly improve the Afghan National Police. The United States also supports the Afghan Government's National Drug Control Strategy through justice sector support, alternative livelihoods, interdiction, eradication, and public information programs.

Governance, Rule of Law, and Human Rights: The United States has provided financial, logistical, and technical support for free and fair elections and is helping to institutionalize the rule of law; to develop the capacity of national institutions; to strengthen local government; and foster the development of civil society, including a professional and independent press.

Economic and Social Development: Recognizing the importance of the country's infrastructure to economic development, security, and national integration, the United States has supported the construction and rehabilitation of Afghanistan's road and power systems, irrigation and flood control systems, bridges, universities, schools and clinics. U.S. assistance has also supported the training of health and education workers, national immunization campaigns, and literacy and accelerated learning programs. To foster economic growth, the United States provided assistance to the Government of Afghanistan to strengthen fiscal and monetary policy, enhance revenue and expenditure management, and improve the legal framework for the financial, commercial, and trade sectors. The United States also works directly with the private sector to strengthen competitiveness in the domestic and international markets.

HIGHLIGHTS OF U.S. ASSISTANCE TO AFGHANISTAN

Security

* With the support of the United States and international partners, the Afghan National Army is now almost 60,000 strong.

* Focused District Development is currently underway in 32 districts throughout Afghanistan. Since November 2007, more than 1,400 members of the Afghan National Police have been trained through the program.

* Through alternative development programs, the U.S. paid over $25 million in salaries to more than 270,000 Afghans and helped more than 1 million farmers produce and market high-value vegetable crops.

Governance, Rule of Law, and Human Rights

* Provided voter registration, education, and logistical assistance in support of the successful 2004 presidential and 2005 parliamentary elections.

* Built or rehabilitated 40 courthouses and justice facilities in 18 projects.

* Compiled and published Afghanistan's entire body of law.

* Trained over 950 judges and virtually all members of Parliament, legislative drafters, provincial counselors, and journalists.

* Established or upgraded 37 independent community radio stations whose broadcasts reach 60 percent of the Afghan population.

* Helped establish the Independent Electoral Commission and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.

Economic and Social Development

Built or rehabilitated approximately 2,700 kilometers of roads, including 715 kilometers of the Ring road, as well as national highways, and provincial and rural roads.

* Disbursed over 28,000 micro-finance loans.

* Constructed or refurbished more than 680 schools.

* Printed and distributed more than 60 million textbooks nationwide.

* Trained over 65,000 teachers through radio broadcasts and 10,500 teachers through accelerated learning programs.

* More than 170,000 students (55% girls) have completed accelerated learning programs to recover years of education lost under the Taliban.

* Built or rehabilitated over 670 health facilities and trained over 11,400 health workers.

2008/245
Released on June 12, 2008

ENDS

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