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26 March 2004

State Department Outlines Afghan Reconstruction Progress

U.S. has allocated $4.2 billion to Afghanistan since 2001

Following is a fact sheet issued by the State Department March 26 outlining the progress to date in U.S. efforts to help rebuild Afghanistan's infrastructure, community facilities and socio-political institutions.

(begin fact sheet)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
March 26, 2004

FACT SHEET

Progress in Afghanistan's Reconstruction

The United States is resolute in its long-term commitment to helping the people of Afghanistan recover from a generation of war and in helping them build a secure, stable democratic government with a strong economic base. As our assistance programs are vigorously supporting political and economic reconstruction of the country, we will not allow Taliban leaders and terrorist elements opposed to democracy and peace to succeed.

The U.S. is working together with the international community to accelerate the progress of both stability and development. Total U.S. reconstruction assistance for Afghanistan since 2001 has been $4.2 billion, including $2.2 billion in FY 2004. For Fiscal Year 2005, we have requested $1.2 billion. The U.S. will attend the International Conference on Afghanistan in Berlin, where donors will provide additional resources for support for reconstruction in the upcoming Afghan fiscal year. Consultations are continuing at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on the strengthening of NATO's support for Afghanistan's stability.

With our support, Afghans have begun the process of developing and implementing democratic governance. They have implemented the Bonn agreement, establishing an interim government and approved a democratic constitution. They are rebuilding government institutions, developing the Afghan National Army and an independent judiciary and developing independent media. The next major step is the historic national election set for this summer. Organizing the process across the country and registering more than ten million voters will be an enormous undertaking. Operation Enduring Freedom and the International Security Assistance Force will help the Afghan security forces assure Afghans can vote in safety.

U.S. reconstruction efforts are helping rebuild a shattered economy, refurbish schools and clinics, and equip Afghans to rebuild their communities and return to a normal life. Our programs have already:

-- repaired vital roads, including the Kabul-Kandahar highway and 1,300 km of secondary roads;

-- provided 25 million school textbooks;

-- built/reconstructed 203 schools;

-- rehabilitated 140 health clinics;

-- vaccinated 4.26 million children against measles and polio;

-- repaired electrical power plants, including initial rehabilitation of the Kandahar-Kajaki Dam;

-- initiated the construction process on the Pyanj Bridge linking Afghanistan to Tajikistan;

-- repaired and reopened the Salang Tunnel, linking the country's central and northern provinces;

-- supported registration of 1.4 million Afghans for national elections;

-- completed 7,000 small-scale irrigation projects.

Ultimately, security in Afghanistan will depend on the Afghan National Army. We have provided training for over 6,000 soldiers. Thousands more have been trained for the police and border patrol. As part of this process, members of militias are being disarmed, demobilized and assisted as they return to productive roles in Afghan society.

(end fact sheet)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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