World Bulletin/News Desk
Donor fatigue and war weariness have taken their toll on how long the global community is willing to support Afghanistan and there are concerns about security following the withdrawal of most NATO troops in 2014 if financial backing is not secured.
"Afghanistan's security cannot only be measured by the absence of war," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an international donors' conference in Tokyo.
"It has to be measured by whether people have jobs and economic opportunity, whether they believe their government is serving their needs, whether political reconciliation proceeds and succeeds."
The Afghan central bank has estimated that at least $6 billion a year in new investment from foreign donors will be needed to foster economic growth over the next decade.
Clinton also stressed the importance of Afghanistan - one of the most corrupt nations in the world - of taking aggressive action to fight graft and promote reforms.
President Hamid Karzai admits his government needs to do more to tackle corruption, but his critics say he is not doing enough, and some directly blame authorities for vast amounts of aid not reaching the right people.
"We have agreed that we need a different kind of long-term economic partnership, one built on Afghan progress in meeting its goals, in fighting corruption, in carrying out reform, and providing good governance," Clinton said.
U.S. officials provided no monetary figure for their expected aid, but said the administration would ask Congress to keep assistance levels stable through 2017 compared with the assistance Washington has offered over the past decade.
Japan pledged $3 billion in aid for Afghanistan through 2016. Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said $2.2 billion of that amount would be grants for development projects in areas like investment in roads and infrastructure.
The EU has said it will continue with pledges of 1.2 billion euros a year, but warned that if progress is not made with rule of law and women's rights, this could be difficult to continue.
The pledges made in Tokyo are on top of the $4.1 billion by NATO and its partners for supporting the Afghan security forces.
Representatives from about 80 countries and international aid organisations, including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, were gathered in Tokyo to discuss aid for Afghanistan beyond 2014.
International donors provided $35 billion in aid to Afghanistan between 2001 and 2010, but the return on that development aid has been mixed.
Per capita economic output increased five-fold over the same period, but Afghanistan remains one of the five poorest nations.
Major strides have been made in schooling children and improving access to health care, but three-quarters of the 30 million Afghans are illiterate and the average person earns only about $530 a year, according to the World Bank.
The government has identified several priority areas for economic development, including investment in agriculture and mining, which Western officials see as a possible engine for future growth. Afghanistan is believed to have up to a trillion dollars' worth of untapped mineral wealth.
Another focus has been on improvements to road and rail lines to tie the emerging Afghan economy more closely with the region. Japan's Gemba said Tokyo would invest another $1 billion on projects in countries neighbouring Afghanistan to promote those efforts.
In a closing statement that urgent and long-term action responding to needs of those hosting must be undertaken
The Russian authorities undertake unprecedented measures on reinforcement on the Kuril islands
Barack Obama on Friday paid moving tribute to victims of the world's first nuclear attack by the US with his visit causing ripples across a region that is turmoil
Men detained in April become first suspects to be charged under Singapore laws against financing extremism
Police say speedboat off resort island of Koh Samui was carrying 32 tourists, 4 crew when it hit a ‘rogue’ wave
Tensions flare around inter-Korean maritime border as Seoul stands firm on rejection of dialogue with Pyongyang
Incoming president offered party members posts in new government if leaders return from exile and sit down for peace talks
The floods-hit country is hoping for foreign assistance mostly in the form of grants and loans, but also calls for overseas expertise in urban planning to prevent such disasters
Hour-long clashes in Sulu follow Monday's release of video by ISIL-affiliated group showing foreign hostages pleading for lives
A suicide attack on a bus carrying staff from an appeal court killed 10 people and wounded four on Wednesday west of the Afghan capital, Kabul, an interior ministry spokesman said.
'Haibatullah Akhundzada has been appointed as the new leader of the Taliban after a unanimous agreement in the shura supreme council,' a statement says
SKorean authorities deported 8 Indonesian migrant workers in last month after becoming alarmed over social media activities
Police say they've killed the operations head of a major militant group in the Indian portion of Kashmir in an overnight gunbattle.
'Big nations should not bully smaller ones, disputes should be resolved peacefully,' US president says
Singapore ordered BSI SA’s unit in the city-state to shut down as Swiss authorities began criminal proceedings against the bank
New Dehli announced an indefinite travel ban for Indians going to Libya