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Brussels conf. pledges over USD 15 bln for development of Afghanistan

On 5 October, the European Union and the government of Afghanistan co-hosted the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan. This conference brought together  75 countries and 26 international organizations and agencies.

Participants endorsed the ambitious reform agenda presented by the Afghan government. They undertook  to ensure continued international political and financial support for Afghanistan over the next four years. The total sum  committed  by the international community is  US$15.2 billion (+/- €13.6 billion). The EU and its member states committed to US$5.6 billion (+/- €5 million)This is an exceptional level of funding which ensures that Afghanistan will remain on a firm path to political and economic stability, state-building and development. The regional stakeholders and the international community also reaffirmed their commitment to a political process towards lasting peace and reconciliation.

With the government in Kabul facing a resurgent Taliban 15 years after US forces helped oust the militants, more than 70 governments in Brussels led by the United States and the European Union promised more financial support for a country that governments see as strategic to global security.

“The war for the future is being fought in Asia. We must stand our ground in Afghanistan,” India’s deputy foreign minister, M.J. Akbar, told the donor conference, which raised more than the $US13 billion the United States initially expected.

“India does not believe in an exit option,” he said, echoing a growing recognition that there is no immediate end in sight to the US-led coalition’s involvement in Afghanistan.

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