Afghanistan Is Pledged $16 Billion for Civilian Needs
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Source: The New York Times
-An international conference meeting here on Sunday pledged $16 billion for civilian needs in Afghanistan, but for the first time insisted that the Afghanistan government reduce corruption in order to receive all the money.
Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, appealed to the representatives of more than 70 countries at the conference not to abandon his country as the United States and NATO troops begin withdrawing next year.
The donors responded to Mr. Karzai by saying that 20 percent of the funds would only be released if Afghanistan was more accountable about how the money was disbursed.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that the lives of ordinary Afghans must improve. "That must include fighting corruption, improving governance, strengthening the rule of law, increasing accessibility to economic opportunity for all Afghans, specifically for women," she said in addressing the conference.