BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Business  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
E-Commerce
Economy
Market Data
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 7 June, 2002, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
Afghanistan donors told to 'pay up'
Ruins in Kabul
"Needs are greater than resources" in Afghanistan, the UN says
Development chiefs have urged donors to honour aid promises for Afghanistan, following complaints that the war-torn country is being denied regeneration cash.

"We urge fellow donors to make good on pledges made in Tokyo," World Bank country director Alastair McKechnie said.

While donors in a meeting in Tokyo in January pledged $4.5bn in aid cash over five years, Afghanistan's interim government has so far received only $40m-45m, with a further $50m in promises, the United Nations said.

Mr McKechnie's plea came as the World Bank, which last month opened new offices in Kabul, approved $90m in grants for economic regeneration, water sanitation and education projects.

"We could make up to $100m more available in direct budget support in the months immediately ahead," Mr McKechnie added.

Government bypassed

Some observers have blamed the threat of instability, ahead of the selection next week of a transitional government, for the aid squeeze.

"They want to be sure the direction of reforms is maintained," said Aidan Cox, adviser to the Afghan Assistance Co-ordination Agency.

Considerable levels of aid are also being channelled through agencies rather than the government, Mr Cox said.

"There is a good level of commitment to UN agencies and non-governmental organisations, but much less resources to the administration."

"They prefer to say ' we built 15 schools in Bamiyan'."

'Drop in the ocean'

But premier Hamid Karzai has called for the immediate honouring of aid pledges.

"The reconstruction in Afghanistan must begin in earnest at the earliest possible time," Mr Karzai said last month.

And Mr McKechnie said: "It is so important that the government's operating budget be supported and that the implementation of development projects is placed into the hands of Afghans, with external support where necessary."

Nigel Fisher, UN deputy representative in Afghanistan, warned that even the $4.5bn pledged would provide only a partial cure to the country's redevelopment problems.

"Four and a half billion dollars is not much for the reconstruction of a country," Mr Fisher said.

"Needs are greater than resources."


Rebuilding

Political uncertainty

Profiles

Issues

FACT FILE

IN DEPTH

FORUM

TALKING POINT
See also:

16 May 02 | Business
13 May 02 | Business
06 May 02 | Business
03 May 02 | Business
21 Mar 02 | Business
15 Feb 02 | Country profiles
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes