Ahead of a drawdown of troops from Afghanistan, Washington is mulling over $300 million in new aid programmes over next five years to stabilise the country's war-tattered economy, the USAID chief said on Monday.
Larry Sampler told the news website Bloomberg the aid covered education, trade and agricultural initiatives. “Going into transition in Afghanistan there has to be economic growth, economic activity, both to offset losses when the military leaves, but also for sustainability.”
Congress, which has slashed the budget for development aid to Afghanistan by about half to $112 billion for the current year, will have the ultimate say in delivery of the planned assistance.
US legislators are increasingly annoyed with Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s refusal to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement on an American military presence in Afghanistan after 2014.
Over the next five years, USAID plans to provide id="mce_marker"25 million to improve Afghan farmers' access to technology and research to improve crop yields.
A sum of $92 million would go to an education programme providing technical training in carpentry, nutrition, agricultural sciences and electrical wiring, according to Bloomberg.
Accounting for $77 million, a third program seeks to improve the business environment, lure greater foreign investment and get Afghanistan into the World Trade Organisation.