The Press

Donors pledge bil­lions for Afghanista­n but de­mand progress

- Society · Politics · Human Rights · Infectious Diseases · Health Conditions · Afghanistan · Geneva · Lyon · United Nations · Taliban · Doha

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.

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