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International pledges for Afghanistan
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Saturday, 26 January 2002
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International donors pledged $4.5 billion over five years for rebuilding efforts at a Tokyo conference attended by dozens of nations and international organizations. Hamid Karzai, the countrys interim leader, expressed "immense satisfaction" with the contribution, and immediately authorized an implementation committee to begin coordinating relief efforts and spending priorities. The World Bank pledged $500 million in interest free loans, with the EU providing a similar sum, and Japan and the US each offering over $250 million for this year. Iran and Pakistan pledged $120 million and $100 million, respectively. Back in Kabul, the government reportedly paid civil servants for the first time in seven months, with the education ministry getting the first pay checks. In other news, armed ethnic Uzbeks reportedly stole 40 tons of food aid intended for the Pashtun drought-affected population in the Qaiser area of the northern Faryab province.

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