Donors pledge billions for Afghanistan but demand progress
Donor countries have held out the possibility of US$12 billion (NZ$17.1b) in aid for Afghanistan over the next four years, but have made it clear that the money depends on progress on peace, human rights and the fight against corruption.
A donor conference of nearly 70 countries has been held in Geneva against the backdrop of deadlocked peace talks, resurgent violence and the coronavirus pandemic. The promised amount fell short of the US$15b pledged at the previous such event in 2016.
‘‘This does not come freely. It comes with conditions,’’ said Deborah Lyons, the United Nations special representative for Afghanistan.
Lyons said the international community expected improvements regarding democracy, the rule of law, women’s rights and the rights of minorities in Afghanistan. She added that violence must be reduced, a ceasefire must be achieved, and peace talks must make progress.
Peace talks initiated in midSeptember have not led to any breakthroughs, with the government and Islamist Taliban militants deadlocked over the agenda of the negotiations in Doha.