For Immediate Release
May 19, 2003
The United States and Afghanistan share a common vision for an
Afghanistan that is prosperous, democratic, self-governing, and
respectful of human rights. The determination of the Afghan people and
the on-going commitment of the Coalition Partners have created an
environment of stability and success. The U.S. has contributed over
$900 million in assistance to the people of Afghanistan since 2001.
Afghanistan has improved its health care system and with a U.S
commitment of $133 million planned for a three-year program, access to
health services will be expanded. Successes since April 2002
- Reopening Rabia Balkhi Women's Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan,
after a six-month renovation project supported by the U.S.
Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Defense
Vaccination of 4.3 million children against measles and
treated 700,000 cases of malaria
Revitalization of the polio eradication programs surveillance
Revising the national curriculum for midwives
Completing the rebuilding of 72 hospitals, clinics and womens
Planning to build or rehabilitate 550 heath care centers
While waiting with his son outside the clinic, Nasser said of the Americans, "They are here, they are welcome, and they would help us rebuild our country, and we are grateful for that".||
Afghanistan has made great strides in revitalizing the education
system. Recent successes include:
The U.S. is initiating a $60 million program to build or repair
1,000 schools, train 30,000 teachers, offer accelerated learning
programs to 60,000 students and print 15 million textbooks for 2.9
million students, 30 percent of whom are girls.
- 4 million children are now enrolled in school
- Six students completed the first module of a six-month radio
journalism program offered by Radio Free Europe/Radio Free
Liberty in Kabul
- Eleven men and six women graduated from the University of
Kabuls new Cisco Networking Academy
- Afghan staff were hired and trained to work at Radio Arman,
Afghanistans new independent radio station
The Afghan government and international organizations are assisting
the returning refugees. 2.5 million Afghans have returned home, the
largest refugee repatriation in the world in the last 30 years.
The U.S. has helped with a total of $185.5 million since the
beginning of the Afghan crisis in September 2001.
Rehabilitating agriculture is key to the growth of the Afghan
economy and the local farmers are working to re-establish production.
The U.S. is helping by providing the following:
There have been successes in agriculture, such as, an increase of
food production, an 82percent increase in wheat yields through
fertilizer and improved wheat seed, the development of a crushing
facility to produce and market peanut and other oils from the
high-value crops, and high-value crop diversification for approximately
- $6 million to assist the Afghan people in managing the water
$15 million to restore irrigation systems and other essential
6,100 water projects (including wells, springs, irrigation
canals, urban water systems, dams, and culverts)
A priority for revitalizing the economy of Afghanistan is to
rebuild Afghans main transportation artery the Kabul-Kandahar-Herat
- The U.S. has committed $180 million to the rebuilding of the
road The Kabul-Kandahar portion will be completed by the end
of December 2003
- The U.S. in partnership with Norway will provide $12 million to
build a bridge over the river between Afghanistan and
President Bush welcomes the start of construction on the Kabul-Kandahar-Herat highway, Afghanistan's main transportation artery. The U.S.-Japanese-Saudi Arabian-Afghan partnership to build this road is part of a comprehensive, multi-billion dollar international reconstruction effort for Afghanistan. The road is a tangible example of the long-term commitment of the international community to Afghanistan.
The road project is an important effort to help the Afghan people provide a better future for their country. At the same time, this road, along with others that will connect Afghanistan to its neighbors can set the stage for a complete transportation system that
will integrate the country, increase trade, and establish links through Afghanistan from the Indian Ocean to Central Asia and along the "Silk Road", bridging East and West.
Afghanistan is providing renewed opportunities for women. With the
support of the U.S., women are receiving education, skills and tools
they need to obtain jobs and integrate into the political and public
life. Programs include:
- Handicraft training
- Resource centers that includes a library, Internet room and
audio visual training centers
- Widow bakeries providing bread to Afghanistans urban poor
- Educational and vocational courses
Afghan National Army
The Afghan government plans to create an army of 70,000 to defend
their country. As of April 5, 2003 the ninth battalion of 716 Army
recruits began basic training.
The new recruits will be trained by fellow Afghan non-commissioned
officers, instead of by Coalition Partners.
"We're very hopeful and at the same time very thankful that the coalition supports us and will continue to do so without ethnic or linguistic divisions, so that this national army will be able to rebuild the country for a brighter future," said Aziz Ullah, who is now a sergeant with 120 men under his command"||
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