Washington, Brussels – International donors have pledged $15.2 billion in aid to help Afghanistan until 2020.
The European Union, co-hosting a donor conference in Brussels, struggled to raise the funds, given the increasingly powerful insurgency and widespread corruption in Afghanistan.
Over 70 countries attended the talks in Brussels, which ended with the EU and its 28 member states pledging 5.6 billion dollars in total until 2017, making it the biggest donor.
At the closing speech, European Commissioner for International Development Neven Mimica said the sum pledged by donors was “a remarkable, impressive amount.”
“Now is not the time to reduce our ambition or our investment in the people of Afghanistan,” he added.
The amount pledged is only slightly less than the $4 billion a year that the international community promised at the last Afghanistan conference in Tokyo in 2012, Mimica added.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani welcomed the significant results achieved at the conference.
“It is a truly remarkable day,” he told reporters at the outset of the conference.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that he still has “an enormous sense of confidence about the future.”
“Year by year our shared effort, one of the largest international coalitions ever assembled, and maintained over a sustained period in time, is in fact yielding encouraging dividends,” Kerry said during the meeting.
EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said: “There will not be any donor fatigue on Afghanistan.”
She denied reports the bloc is making aid conditional on Afghanistan taking back people who have fled to Europe, saying there is “never a link between our development aid and what we do on migration.”