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Foreign donors make Afghan aid pledges with tougher conditions
  + stars: | 2020-11-24 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com + 0.00   time to read: +4 min
REUTERS/Omar SobhaniDozens of nations, international institutions and the European Union combined to pledge billions in aid for Afghanistan at the conference in Geneva. But many, including the United States and Germany, slapped strict conditions on future funding and some committed for just the next year - departing from four-year pledges made in the past. “We’re pleased to pledge today $300 million...with the remaining $300 million available as we review progress in the peace process,” U.S. The United States has contributed roughly $800 million a year in civilian aid in recent years. France pledged 88 million euros ($104.20 million) and Canada 270 million Canadian dollars ($206.66 million).
Persons: Omar Sobhani, “ We’re, David Hale, Hale, , , Josep Borrell Organizations: United, REUTERS, European Union, Diplomats, State, Political, Qatari, Doha, Taliban, Britain Locations: GENEVA, United States, Afghanistan, Kabul, Geneva, Germany, U.S, Bamyan, Brussels, EU, Britain, Canada
GENEVA (Reuters) - Foreign donors pledged a projected $12 billion in civilian aid to Afghanistan over the next four years at a conference on Tuesday, but many made it conditional on protecting human rights and making progress on peace talks in a major shake-up for the country’s economy. The United States said it had pledged $300 million in civilian aid to Afghanistan next year and would make available another $300 million based on progress in peace talks. “We stand ready to support Afghanistan and to that end we’ve made available $600 million for civilian assistance needs in 2021. The United States has contributed roughly $800 million a year in civilian aid in recent years. The European Union pledged 1.2 billion euros ($1.43 billion)over four years but emphasised aid was conditional.
Persons: Omar Sobhani Ville, We’re, David Hale, Hale, , Mohammad Haneef Atmar, Omar Joya, , Josep Borrell Organizations: REUTERS, Diplomats, United, State, Political, The United, Qatari, Doha, Taliban, Reuters, Biruni Institute, European Union Locations: GENEVA, Afghanistan, Kabul, United States, U.S, Geneva, The United States, Germany, Bamyan, EU
FILE PHOTO: An Afghan girl receives free bread distributed by the government, outside a bakery, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Kabul, Afghanistan May 3, 2020. Keeping financing on a tight rein could provide foreign governments with some leverage to inject a greater sense of urgency into the peace process, diplomats said. The European Union pledged 1.2 billion euros ($1.43 billion)over four years but emphasised aid was conditional on strict requirements. Britain, one of the country’s top bilateral donors, said in a statement it would pledge $227 million in annual civilian and food aid. Now is not the time to walk away,” said Deborah Lyons, head of the UN’s mission to Afghanistan.
Persons: Omar Sobhani, Ashraf Ghani, Antonio Guterres, , Josep Borrell, Deborah Lyons Organizations: REUTERS, UN, European Union, United Nations Locations: GENEVA, Afghanistan, Geneva, Kabul, Brussels, Qatar, Britain, Finland, United States,
FILE PHOTO: An Afghan girl receives free bread distributed by the government, outside a bakery, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Kabul, Afghanistan May 3, 2020. The European Union pledged 1.2 billion euros ($1.43 billion)over four years at Tuesday’s conference but emphasised aid was conditional on strict requirements. “Afghanistan’s future trajectory must preserve the democratic and human rights gains since 2001, most notably as regards to women and children’s rights,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said. Conference organisers have said that a key to getting countries to pledge was adding strict conditions on protecting human rights as well as curbing corruption. Britain said it would pledge $227 million in annual civilian and food aid, France pledged 88 million euros ($104.20 million) and Canada 270 million Canadian dollars ($206.66 million).
Persons: Omar Sobhani, Ashraf Ghani, , Antonio Guterres, Josep Borrell Organizations: REUTERS, Diplomats, European Union, Britain Locations: GENEVA, Afghanistan, Geneva, Kabul, Brussels, , Qatar, Bamyan, EU, Britain, France, Canada, United States
Many donors also put strict conditions on future funding and some officially committed for just the next year. The United States pledged $600 million in civilian aid to Afghanistan next year but made half of it conditional on progress in peace talks. “We’re pleased to pledge today $300 million...with the remaining $300 million available as we review progress in the peace process,” U.S. The European Union pledged 1.2 billion euros ($1.43 billion)over four years on Tuesday but emphasised aid was conditional. France pledged 88 million euros ($104.20 million) and Canada 270 million Canadian dollars ($206.66 million).
Persons: Omar Sobhani Ville, “ We’re, David Hale, Hale, , , Josep Borrell Organizations: REUTERS, United, Diplomats, State, Political, Qatari, Doha, Taliban, European Union, Britain Locations: GENEVA, Afghanistan, Kabul, United States, U.S, Germany, Bamyan, Brussels, EU, Britain, Canada
Rockets hit Afghan capital Kabul, at least three killed
  + stars: | 2020-11-21 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: +1 min
An injured man is carried to a hospital after rockets hit residential areas in Kabul, Afghanistan November 21, 2020. REUTERS/Omar SobhaniKABUL (Reuters) - Several rockets hit residential areas in the early rush hour in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday, killing at least three civilians and wounding a dozen more, police officials said. Tariq Arian, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, said three civilians had been killed in the attack and 11 wounded. But a health ministry official said five bodies and 21 injured were taken to the hospital from the incident. Early this month, several gunmen stormed Kabul University campus and killed at least 35, most of them students and wounded more than 50.
Persons: Omar Sobhani, Tariq Arian, Arian, Organizations: REUTERS, Ministry of Interior, Facebook, Kabul University, Islamic State Locations: Kabul, Afghanistan, Omar Sobhani KABUL, Afghan, Geneva
Rockets hit Afghan capital Kabul, at least 8 killed
  + stars: | 2020-11-21 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.99   time to read: +2 min
KABUL (Reuters) - Several rockets hit residential areas in the early rush hour in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday, killing at least eight civilians and wounding 31, police officials said. An injured man is carried to a hospital after rockets hit residential areas in Kabul, Afghanistan November 21, 2020. Tariq Arian, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, said at least eight civilians had been killed in the attack and 31 wounded. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo travels to Qatar on Saturday to meet with an Afghan delegation and Taliban negotiators. Early this month, several gunmen stormed Kabul University campus and killed at least 35, most of them students and wounded more than 50.
Persons: Omar Sobhani, Tariq Arian, Arian, , Mike Pompeo Organizations: REUTERS, Ministry of Interior, Facebook, Afghan, Kabul University, Islamic State Locations: KABUL, Afghan, Kabul, Afghanistan, Geneva, Iranian, Qatari, Doha, Qatar
“By Jan. 15, 2021, our forces, their size in Afghanistan, will be 2,500 troops. Critics slammed Trump for timing the withdrawal to his own calendar as opposed to some kind of breakthrough in Afghanistan that would justify a major drawdown. Some U.S. military officials had been urging Trump to keep U.S. troop levels at around 4,500 for now. That threat had alarmed U.S. military officials, U.S. allies and lawmakers, who had fiercely opposed an abrupt, unilateral pullout. Violence has been rising throughout Afghanistan, with the Taliban attacking provincial capitals, in some case prompting U.S. airstrikes.
Persons: Donald Trump, Omar Sobhani, Christopher Miller, Trump, Mark Esper, Jan, ” Miller, Mitch McConnell, ” McConnell, Joe Biden, Critics, Mac Thornberry, , , ” Thornberry, Adam Smith, al, Rick Olson, it’s, , Ronald Neumann, Biden, Kenneth McKenzie ,, ” McKenzie Organizations: WASHINGTON, Pentagon, U.S, Afghan National Army, ANA, REUTERS, Reuters, Republicans, Republican, of, Armed, Committee, Democrats, Democrat, Islamic State militants, Taliban, Twitter, U.S ., U.S . Central Command Locations: Afghanistan, America’s, Helmand province, Iraq, al Qaeda, United States, U.S, Pakistan, Kabul, Baghdad
REUTERS/Omar SobhaniA senior Afghan government official said he was relieved that under U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, the process would likely be clearer and less chaotic. “A Tweet won’t decide the fate of American troops in Afghanistan,” he said. Afghan officials hope some troops will stay beyond May. NO NEW GUIDANCEAshley Jackson, Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Armed Groups at the Overseas Development Institute, said the “real issue” was the possibility of delays to the peace process. “While they deal with other urgent priorities, the Afghan peace process hangs in the balance,” she told Reuters.
Persons: Omar Sobhani, Joe Biden, , Trump, Fawzia Koofi, Donald Trump, ” Koofi, Ashley Jackson, Biden Organizations: REUTERS, Afghan, U.S, Reuters, , Taliban, Centre, Groups, Overseas Development Institute, , White, ISIS, Pentagon, State Department, Trump, United Nations, Doha Locations: KABUL, U.S, Afghanistan, Afghan, Kabul, United States, Qatar’s, Al, al Qaeda
Afghan policemen keep watch near the site of an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan November 2, 2020. REUTERS/Omar SobhaniKABUL (Reuters) - Gunmen stormed Kabul University, killing students in their classrooms and firing on others as they fled on Monday, in the second attack on an educational institution in the city in just over a week, officials and witnesses said. The three attackers killed at least 19 people including students before Afghan security forces shot the gunmen dead, authorities said. “This is the second attack on educational institutions in Kabul ... Afghan children & youth need to feel safe going to school,” NATO Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan Stefano Pontecorvo said in a statement. A suicide bomber killed 24 people including teenage students at an education centre in Kabul on Oct. 24.
Persons: Omar Sobhani, Fathullah Moradi, Tariq Arian, Afghanistan Stefano Pontecorvo Organizations: REUTERS, Gunmen, Kabul University, Reuters, NATO, Representative, Islamic State, REUTERS/Omar Sobhani KABUL (Reuters), Gunmen stormed Kabul University Locations: Kabul, Afghanistan, Omar Sobhani KABUL, Qatar, United States, Kabul
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