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​US to pump $300mn into Afghanistan to end ‘war economy’ – report

Published time: February 09, 2014 13:26
Jalalabad, Afghanistan (Reuters / Parwiz)

Jalalabad, Afghanistan (Reuters / Parwiz)

Washington will announce on Monday a massive aid package to Afghanistan, which it hopes will assist the war-torn country get back on its feet after 12 years of playing host to foreign troops, Reuters has learned.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) will announce three new development programs worth almost $300 million to wean Afghanistan off its 'war economy,' which is heavily subsidized today by opium exports – a trade that had been practically squashed while the country was under Taliban rule.

Under the USAID initiative, $125 million will go to reviving Afghanistan's food and farm sector, and another $77 million to opening up the country to greater international trade and investment. The last program, valued at about $100 million, would seek to assist Afghanistan’s educational system.

"The question is, what can we do now to make sure Afghanistan is as healthy, sustainable and feasible as possible going forward," Larry Sampler, the agency's chief official for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told Reuters.

Sampler said the three-stage cash injections would help buffer Afghanistan as the war economy winds down, together with the foreign military operation.

The promise of a cash handout by USAID comes as Washington is trying to get Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign a bilateral security pact needed to keep US troops there after this year.

Karzai has thus far refused to sign over US demands that its troops receive immunity from Afghan courts in any future criminal cases.

Comments (35)

 

Regula 15.02.2014 12:25

These $300m seem at best a gesture: after pumping billions into supposed reconstruction in Afghanistan which didn't accomplish much of anything why would $300m now miraculously turn everything around?

The US made some efforts at eradicating poppy fields, but without much success. What makes the US believe that $110m will miraculously get the Afghan farmers cut back their life style and plant food only for a much less lucrative gain?

Based on what security does the US want to open Afghanistan to foreign investment? To US corporations? And for whose gain? In other words: exploitation by the US at Afghanistan's loss.

 

J Lee Cline 13.02.2014 23:47

We can't afford 7-8 million for foodstamps or housing for our own poor but the Pentagon can do this??? How did this pass?

 

teseeker 11.02.2014 23:58

How dare our government send $millions of our Social Security, Unemployment, and Food Stamp money to a foreign country that sells $billions worth of heroin and it's opiates to the pharmaceutical companies and not tax them or the trade itself?

It's just another foreign bribe for them to be our friends while stealing America's wealth from it's citizens. With the narcotic trade illegal, they can charge any amount they want and do!

View all comments (35)
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