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Thursday, 25 July, 2002, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
Afghan plea over reconstruction
Ruins of Kabul
The government wants money now to rebuild
Afghanistan's government says the international community must do more to help the country's reconstruction drive - despite on-going concerns about security.

Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, who is in Washington as part of a delegation meeting US experts, said hundreds of millions of dollars had been spent on humanitarian aid, but only a small fraction on reconstruction.


The needs are there, the urgency is there and we cannot emphasise it more

Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah
About $4.5bn in aid over five years was pledged at a donors' conference in Tokyo in January, after the Taliban were forced out of power by US-led forces.

Since then, there have been several appeals - from both the UN and the Afghan authorities - for international donors to make good their promises.

However, many donors remain wary of disbursing money because of worries about the stability of Afghanistan.

Expectations

In a speech at Georgetown University, Abdullah Abdullah said the world "cannot afford to fail Afghanistan."

Blown up car of Abdul Qadir
The assassination of Abdul Qadir highlight security fears

He said the people of Afghanistan expected the government to deliver, but they could not do it on their own.

"Has enough been done by the international community? Unfortunately, once again, the answer is no."

In remarks at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Mr Abdullah said that Afghanistan needed funds in particular to build schools, create jobs and develop rural areas.

Security situation

The recent assassination of Vice-President Haji Abdul Qadir has highlighted security concerns and fears of possible rivalries between powerful figures in the government.

But Mr Abdullah said that the security situation had improved compared to six months ago.

Some Afghan officials suggested that the security situation was being used as an excuse not to help with reconstruction.

"Please don't ask us where security is when reconstruction hasn't started," said Afghan Reconstruction Minister Mohammed Farhang.

Last month, the UN said international donors were failing to live up to their pledges for Afghanistan.

The UN reconstruction envoy, Nigel Fisher, said the World Bank trust fund for Afghanistan's interim administration had received only $45m of the $400m (275m) budget needed to run the government.


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07 Jun 02 | Business
03 Jun 02 | Business
08 Jul 02 | South Asia
31 May 02 | South Asia
06 May 02 | Business
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