Donors to Pledge Billions in Aid to Afghanistan

Donors to Pledge Billions in Aid to AfghanistanDonors to Pledge Billions in Aid to Afghanistan

International donors are meeting in Brussels, Belgium, to raise billions more dollars in aid for Afghanistan.

More than 70 countries are at the talks, hosted by the European Union. They are expected to pledge another $3 billion a year in aid until 2020.

Afghanistan will be asked to do more to tackle corruption and to take back tens of thousands of failed asylum seekers. The country faces a resurgent Taliban and remains reliant on foreign help, 15 years after the militants were ousted, BBC reported.

“We’re buying four more years for Afghanistan,” said EU special representative, Franz-Michael Mellbin.

But with donor fatigue after years of war, officials do not expect to raise as much as at the last aid conference, in Tokyo in 2012, where $4 billion a year was pledged.

The EU is promising $1.3 billion annually and has signed a deal with the Afghan government for Kabul to take back Afghans who fail in their bid for asylum. Both sides deny the deal is a condition for new aid.

Afghans make up the second largest group of asylum seekers in Europe, after Syrians.

Recent Taliban advances on the battlefield will only harden the determination of many Afghans to seek a better life elsewhere.

Taliban attacks this week on the cities of Kunduz in the north and Lashkar Gah in the south have underlined how fragile the security and development gains of recent years remain, despite all the money spent.

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