The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 28, 2002

Fact Sheet: Assisting People of Afghanistan
U.S. Programs to Assist the People of Afghanistan

On the occasion of the visit of Afghanistan Interim Authority (AIA) Chairman Hamad Karzai, President Bush announces the programs which will benefit from the initial U.S. pledge of $296.75 million in Tokyo for Afghanistan's reconstruction.  In addition, the President announces a $50 million line of credit offered through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation to finance qualified U.S. private sector projects and up to $3 million in funding by the U.S. Department of Labor for job generation programs.  The President also confirms that $223 million in previously frozen assets are being made available to the AIA.  The United States has played a leading role in coordinating the international effort for Afghanistan's reconstruction and has provided more aid to the people of Afghanistan than any other individual country.  U.S. programs are detailed below:

Food Security and Health Assistance

-    $84 million of USAID's International Disaster Assistance and Development Assistance/Child Survival and Health will be used to promote the following:

-    Rehabilitating Agriculture (IDA) through seed multiplication, agricultural inputs and livestock rehabilitation, giving priority to areas of high poppy cultivation;

-    Improving Health, by supporting the Ministry of Health, the measles vaccination campaign, establishing a health surveillance system, and expanding existing health care and drug addiction treatment services;

-    Livelihoods and Income Generation, via agricultural rehabilitations and local community and private sector development -- directed in April-May at diverting family and itinerant labor from the spring opium harvest;

Creating Incentives for Stability

-    Raid Mobilization of Education, by printing and delivering nearly 10 million textbooks, mainly in science, math and reading, in time for the official start of the Afghan school year in March; providing teacher training and adult literacy materials; and implementing vocational education programs;

-         Institutional Strengthening, by supporting the development of media capacity and local NGO capacity, and providing support to the Bonn Agreement, through direct assistance to develop the capacity of the Interim Authority.

-    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide $45 million in food aid, under its 416 (b) program, for relief and recovery, including funding for programs to provide food to students and teachers at school and workers on the job.

-    $77 million, provided under P.L. 480 Title II funding, will be devoted to helping Afghanistan in the transition from relief to recovery activities.  Food commodities will be used to help rebuild critical systems in agriculture, education, health, infrastructure, and employment.  They will be delivered through Food for Work and other such local, community-based programs.

-    $52.6 million in migration and refugee assistance funds will be used to support the repatriation of Afghan refugees and to support large numbers of returning refugees and internally displaced persons through community-based health, education, shelter, water, and sanitation projects.

-    The U.S. Department of Labor, in cooperation with the Afghan Ministry of Labor, will devote up to $3 million to implement job generation and technical assistance programs in Afghanistan.  These programs are designed to train ex-combatants, women, and young adults to enter the economic mainstream after a decade of economic deprivation.

-    The private sector and USAID will partner to provide rehabilitation programs for disabled individuals under the Leahy War Victims Fund.

-    The United States Government will foster donations by the private sector of medical missions, such as fly-in surgical teams to perform surgeries and ophthalmologists to provide eye exams and eye glasses.

-    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and USAID will assist the Afghan Ministry of Health through complementary programs to establish primary care community clinics.

-    $15 million will be devoted to counternarcotics programs, initial law enforcement training, development of a criminal code, promoting good governance and democratic institutions.

-    $7 million will be used for humanitarian demining and mine awareness.

Financial, Trade, and Commercial Assistance

-    The U.S. Federal Reserve Bank transferred approximately $223 million in Afghanistan's previously frozen assets to the Afghanistan Interim Authority.

-    $17.25 million in Economic Support Funds (ESF) will be used for short-term, high-impact projects possibly in the political or security sectors.

-    The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) will extend an initial $50 million line of credit to finance qualified U.S. private sector projects in Afghanistan.  OPIC, with the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the Trade and Development Agency, will lead an investment assessment mission to Kabul in February 2002 to review with Afghan authorities priorities for reconstruction and how those agencies' programs can help mobilize U.S. private sector investment in Afghanistan.

-    U.S. Department of Commerce will lead a private sector mission to Afghanistan later in February to help identify Afghanistan's investment needs and opportunities, particularly in the electric power sector, for U.S. private sector participation in reconstruction.

-    The United States will provide the $100,000 subscription fee for Afghanistan to become a member of the World Bank's Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), so that it can obtain political insurance for private investment.

People-to People Programs

-    The U.S. Department of State will resume a broad range of educational and cultural exchange programs, including programs focused on education and training for women.  The International Visitor Program, in which Chairman Karzai participated in 1987, will be revived and will offer special programs targeting women in the areas of health and curriculum development and pedagogy.  Fulbright specialists, participation in the Humphrey program, and support for English teaching activities also will be made available.

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