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.
China plans to change monetary unit of the gold market by end of the year.
Ahead of elections next year, the Philippines vice president has formed a new opposition party, sealing his departure from the president.
Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman confirms arresting of army general
At least 18 people have been killed in landslides that have hit West Bengal.
According to the Aviation Safety Network, 10 fatal crashes involving Indonesian military or police aircraft have occurred over the last decade.
The Chinese parliament has ratified an agreement, officiating the development of a second new bank.
A new national security law has been adopted in China which includes cyberspace “sovereignty” clause, as well as assets and activities in space, the deep sea and polar regions.
Senior official from World Uyghur Congress accuses Beijing of 'unnamed war against Muslims and Islam' and says world silent while persecution goes on
Afghan president promises to appoint women to senior positions in government and judiciary
China planning to improve relations with Russia through joint military training
The visit by the Chinese PM is the first official visit of a Chinese premier to France in nearly a decade
India's commerce ministry said in a notification that India bans oil trade and refined oil products trade with ISIL linked organisations.
China's prime minister has said that it will try to meet targets of CO2 emissions before 2030
The Japanese economic minister has said that austerity caused Greek economy to shrink
An Indonesian military transport plane crashed into a hotel and residential area in the northern Sumatra city of Medan on Tuesday, killing at least 49 people.
The Philippines embassy expresses ‘heartfelt appreciation’ to sultan and pardons board of western Selangor for sparing Jacqueline Quiamno