[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated:  Wednesday, 5 March, 2003, 17:57 GMT
Afghanistan wants more rebuilding funds
Khyber Pass at Torkhum
Kabul says it needs $1.5bn for reconstruction this year alone
The Afghan Government has said it wants to raise more international funds to rebuild the country and its battered economy.

The government said it had received far less money than several other countries recovering from conflict.

In comparison with other recent post-conflict settings, such as Bosnia, Rwanda and Kosovo, disbursements per capita are far lower in Afghanistan than in other countries
Afghan Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers said he feared the current stand-off with Iraq was distracting donors' attention.

He said it would be a "fateful mistake" if possible donors would fail to live up to pledges to build a peaceful Afghanistan in accordance with promises made after the Taliban regime was ousted in 2001.

New donor conference

Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai told reporters $4.5bn pledged by the international community last year after the Taliban regime was ousted was not enough to pay for the huge cost of re-building the war-torn country.

"In comparison with other recent post-conflict settings, such as Bosnia, Rwanda and Kosovo, disbursements per capita are far lower in Afghanistan than in other countries," he said.

Mr Ahmadzai unfolded plans for a conference to be held in Brussels later this month to raise more money to rebuild the country.

"There is urgent need to shift gears and increase pledging levels in order to meet the huge scale of Afghanistan's reconstruction needs," he said.

The conference comes at a time when the attention of the international community has shifted from Afghanistan to a possible war with Iraq.

Donors pledged $1.24bn for Afghanistan at a conference in Oslo in December, although it was clear how much of this was new money or included in the sum promised earlier in Tokyo.

In 2001, the World Bank and the United Nations said Afghanistan needed about $10bn for reconstruction.

Mr Ahmadzai said that for the fiscal year beginning 21 March, his country needed $1.5bn for reconstruction projects and an additional $500m for administrative costs.


SEE ALSO:
Country profile: Afghanistan
28 Feb 03 |  Country profiles
Afghanistan retakes heroin crown
03 Mar 03 |  Business
Afghan leaders to help refugees
01 Mar 03 |  South Asia


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


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific