Afghan president hails aid
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai yesterday hailed international donors for pledging $16 billion in aid to the war-torn nation, but called for more help to clamp down on corruption.
"I'd like to thank all of those countries, all of those organisations that have pledged support for Afghanistan," Karzai told a press briefing in Tokyo, after a conference in the Japanese capital on Sunday.
Karzai said Afghanistan was rebuilding its civil service and other social and economic infrastructure after three decades of turmoil, but added "it is not only the Afghan government that should work and succeed" in fighting graft.
"We cannot succeed without... cooperation from international donors as well," he added.
Donors and Afghan officials must ensure that the aid is dispersed fairly with infrastructure and other development projects being chosen and contracted out in a transparent way, he said.
Karzai's comments followed the pledge Sunday for billions of dollars in aid for Afghanistan through 2015, which was aimed at preventing the country from sliding back into turmoil when foreign combat troops depart in 2014.