Karzai Appeals for $50 Billion in Aid to Help Rebuild AfghanistanBy VOA News
12 June 2008
An Afghan laborer sifts sand for construction of a road as bulldozers flatten the ground in Kabul, Afghanistan, 12 Jun 2008
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has appealed to international donors for $50 billion in aid to help rebuild his country over the next five years.
Mr. Karzai launched the appeal in an address to a conference of more than 80 donor countries and organizations in Paris Thursday. He urged donors to provide long-term support for security and infrastructure-building in Afghanistan.
U.S. first lady Laura Bush told participants at the conference that the United States would contribute more than $10 billion in aid. She said donor countries must not turn their backs on Afghanistan, saying the country has reached a "decisive moment" for its future.
Germany has also announced it will give $653 million toward redevelopment efforts in Afghanistan over the next two years. Norway has pledged $730 million over the next five years.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday the United States will deliver its aid over two years. She acknowledged that there are concerns about corruption in Afghanistan, but she said she believes President Karzai understands the corrosive nature of corruption and is looking for help.