UN, other officials seek funds for Afghanistan at virtual donors conference

Top officials including the UN secretary-general and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were taking part in a largely virtual pledging conference for Afghanistan on Tuesday, the latest effort to drum up aid and support for a country where Taliban fighters are making inroads against the government.

The gathering in Geneva, co-hosted by Finland, was expected to draw diplomats, civil society advocates and international organizations from over 70 countries in the first such event in four years.

“Today is the day to reaffirm our solidarity with the people of Afghanistan,” said Tatiana Valovaya, the head of the UN office in Geneva that is co-hosting the conference.

The pledging conference, overshadowed in part by the COVID-19 pandemic, seeks to lay out objectives for the next four years for Afghanistan is expected to generate billions for the poor and insurrection-wracked nation.

The European Union pledged to maintain its commitment of $1.43 billion (1.2 billion euros) to Afghanistan at a donor conference in Geneva.

“In 2016, the EU showed its strong commitment to Afghanistan by pledging 1.2 billion euros over a four-year period,” said Jutta Urpilainen, the European Commissioner in charge of International Partnerships.

“It is my pleasure to announce today that we are ready to keep this level of support for the next four years.”


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