The Face of Afghanistan (6) - Helping Them, Helping Us

Afghanistan needs help to move on, more help than was promised, and surely much more than has been given. Afghanistan became a hotbed of insecu-rity not only for Afghans but also for the rest of the world; today Afghanistan is the largest producer of poppies used for narcotics and used to be a haven for terrorists. Afghans, especially children, have been exposed to atrocious living conditions for years. They are going to wear the scars of brutality outside and inside. Like an Afghan poet said, they may become trees grown out of bitter seeds. Even those who are not moved by the utter injustice Afghanistan lives in should help out of enlightened self-interest.

Irrespective of what some claim, devel-opment experts affirm that sufficient quantities of aid can still reach the communities and individuals it is aimed to despite the mayhem of power strug-gles and insecurity. In 2002 the rich countries promised the country's gov-ernment 4.5 billion dollars over five years to fund rebuilding efforts – not all of it was actually disbursed. Another 4.5 billion dollars was promised in March 2004. These amounts may seem substantial, but they are minimal com-pared to well over 300 billion dollars that the recent military campaign has cost in its first three years alone.

We must learn from our mistakes.

[continue reading The Face of Afghanistan]
[see the video]
[see the photo gallery]


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