BRUSSELS, Belgium – International donors on Monday committed some $2 billion in aid over the next year to rebuild Afghanistan and help it counter international terrorism and curtail heroin production.
"The response has been extremely generous. Ninety percent of what we asked for has been committed to," Afghan Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani said.
He stressed the donor countries stood united in continuing to back Afghanistan over the coming years despite world attention being diverted to Iraq.
"We have to be able to cope with more than one blip on the radar screen at the same time," said EU External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten.
U.S. government representative Alan Larson said Washington would contribute $820 million in new aid this year, while Japan said it would give a further $500 million over the next two and a half years.
The European Union, which hosted the donor meeting, has pledged $432 million in aid until the end of 2004.
Afghanistan, which has been a major opium producer, is struggling to rebuild itself after years of conflict, including a U.S.-led war that drove out the Taliban regime in late 2001.