International pledges help Afghanistan’s development
KABUL - The international community help in Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development is highly important, Afghan analysts and experts say.
Afghanistan is a fast-growing emerging market of strategic importance close to some of the largest and fastest-growing markets in the world, Fazal Haq Murad, a Kabul based economic analyst and the Editor in Chief of Economic Afghanistan Magazine, told Salaam Times. “This is all because of the international community's help and trust in the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA). The NUG (National Unity Government) is committed to reconstruction efforts, and hopefully the international community helps even more.”
“Afghanistan has been hit from every angle for thirty-odd years and it's been badly damaged,” Murad said. “It is very, very helpful for Afghanistan that the international community has been here and helping to reconstruct Afghanistan for the past 15 years”.
Afghan Deputy Commerce Minister Muhammad Qurban Haqjo told Salaam Times that the government is committed to changing Afghanistan from a consumer economy to a source of exports.
“The desire is to show that GIRoA is committed to a better future for the Afghan population as indicated by these on-going reconstruction efforts”, he said. “The international community is helping us, and we will do our best for a better Afghanistan.”
Former Deputy Minister of Commerce Muzamil Shinwari addressed in particular recent pledges from the international community at a Warsaw summit on NATO-led mission to bolster Afghan security forces. There, South Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-num pledged to provide US$135 m to Afghanistan in the coming years to help the country to build up the capacity of its security forces.
Shinwari said that “because of the international help, the NUG should work hard for a better future”.
At the summit, NATO heads of state reaffirmed their commitment to ensure long-term security and stability in Afghanistan, to maintain the presence of the Resolute Support mission in the country beyond 2016, and to continue to make national contributions to the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces. “Everything in Afghanistan is related to security; if we have better security Afghanistan will grow very soon," Shinwari said. "And the government is also on the right track.”
Australia also pledged at the Warsaw summit US$300 m for Afghan security forces, and Canada contributed as well, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.
“Canada announced US$465 m in security support and development assistance in Afghanistan over a period of three years in Warsaw summit and we hope to get the support as soon as possible and improve our economy and security”, he said.
Taj Muhammad Akbar, an economics lecturer at Kabul University, expressed optimism after the recent pledges from the international community. "Afghanistan's government is committed to developing the country for our people," he said.