Saturday, March 27, 2004

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: With the help of Germany and the United Nations, the Afghan government is holding a two-day international conference next Wednesday and Thursday in Berlin's Intercontinentel Hotel where officials of the Afghan government will urge the international community to donate 4.5 billion dollars a year for the next seven years. The Afghan embassy in D.C. writes:

1 billion per year will be dedicated to the further development of education and social protection. 2.1 billion per year will provide for infrastructure improvement, in transportation, communications, mining, power, irrigation, housing and urban development. 750 million per year will be invested in security, rule of law, judicial and administrative reform and private sector development that will help create an economy sustainable to growth. The goal will be to double the GDP of Afghanistan to just $500 at the completion of the seven year pledge.
Ambitious but definitely achievable with the help of the rest of the world. The United States has pledged to donate an additional billion dollars and it is expected from countries like Japan and Germany to be generous. (China has already decided to write off the 18 million dollar it is owed.) There will be 65 delegations from 56 countries and 11 international organizations and financial institutions.

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