Participants of a historic international conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, have agreed to channel at least 50 percent of foreign development aid to the country through the government within two years, news agencies report.
The agreement, which was part of the July 20 conference’s final communique, supports Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s earlier appeal for more control over the USD13 billion worth of funds pledged for Afghanistan’s reconstruction.
The conference – the first international meeting on Afghanistan to be held in the country – gathered more than 70 high-ranking representatives from donor countries and international organizations, including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, and U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell.
The participants also agreed to deliver up to 80 percent of the total aid pledge to priority projects outlined by the Afghan government within the next two years. These priority projects, which focus on development, governance, security and peace, were presented July 8, as Devex reported.
Ahead of the conference, the U.K. announced it will increase its aid to Afghanistan over the next four years by up to 40 percent.