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Delay in naming cabinet hurting confidence: UN

Delay in naming cabinet hurting confidence: UN

Dec 05, 2014 - 23:57

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The United Nations called for the international community to remain committed to supporting Afghanistaninfo-icon's development under President Ashraf Ghani.

Addressing the London Conference, United Nations Assistant Secretary General Haoliang Xu note Ghani had yet to appoint a cabinet despite the passage of more than two months of being sworn in.

A statement from the UNDP Country Office quoted Xu as voicing concern at the delay that threatened to dent donors' confidence, as the country appealed for more funds to narrow a budget deficit.

Afghanistan relies on foreign assistance for two-thirds of its $7.6 billion budget. It is having trouble meeting its own share of the budget because political uncertainty has dented business and tax revenues.

He told the news agency Reuters Afghanistan would rely on international support for many years to come. "What the international community should do is try to help provide the enabling environmentinfo-icon so everybody can focus on development."

Xu, who oversees the United Nations Development Programme's operations in Asia and the Pacific including Afghanistan, said: "We want everybody who is part of this effort to be committed, that is really key ...

“Afghans will continue to rely on externalinfo-icon support both in security and non security areas and Afghanistan cannot afford to lose the confidence of the international community in order to provide that critically needed support."

Xu said while more needed to be done to boost investment in the economy, government and international support for private sector-led job creation and growth must be balanced with the need to ensure the poor and marginalised were not losing out.

"Issues like healthinfo-icon, educationinfo-icon, support to rural development, need to be safeguarded. People need to feel the benefits of the peaceful transition, they need to feel the benefits of the new government," he said. "Social service is not only a safety net, it is also a factor for stability."



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