Obama proposes $1b additional support for Afghanistan
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): US President Barack Obama on Monday proposed $1 billion in economic support fund for a reform-driven government in Kabul. This is in addition to more than $3 billion for the Afghan national security forces.
“With a new reform-minded government in Kabul and Afghan security forces leading operations across the country, this will be perhaps the most critical phase of solidifying the progress made over the last decade," the State Department said.
FY 2016 resources remain essential to maintaining Afghan stability following the 2014 security transition and fostering economic development that would gradually lessen the country’s reliance on international assistance.
The 2016 assistance, the State Department said, would focus on promoting economic growth by investing in viable sectors, including agriculture and extractives, improved governance, a better system of justice and alternatives to the illicit production of narcotics.
The US promised to work with international partners to sustain gains in health and education and support women and girls through the critical transition period and beyond. It will continue working together with the Afghan government to make progress on fundamental reform objectives.
Committed to supporting progress in these areas, the US will continue to incentivize progress by conditioning a portion of assistance on government enactment and implementation of reforms, including respect for the rights of women and minorities, improved governance, anti-corruption efforts and legislation to support private investment.
For Afghanistan, the overseas contingency operation (OCO) request of $136.2 million reflected the transition to a Kabul-centric diplomatic footprint, the State Department said, adding US personnel were engaged in capacity-building, stabilisation and development plans essential to strengthening the Afghanistan's ability to take full responsibility for its security.
The request is $58 million below the 2015 level as the number of department and interagency personnel is decreasing, and aviation costs for 2016 will largely be funded from 2015 resources.
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