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Extra US aid to Afghanistan must be spent on development, not just to support military campaigns

International aid agency Oxfam today welcomed the US Government’s promise of extra aid to Afghanistan but warned the money had to be spent across the country on key development priorities, rather than purely to support the military effort in the south and south-east.

“How and where these resources are spent must be governed by genuine development needs, and not military imperatives,” said Matt Waldman, Oxfam’s head of policy in Afghanistan.

“Extra funds must not only be directed to the war-torn south, given the scale and severity of poverty throughout the country. The money must be spent for the benefit of the poorest Afghans.”

Waldman added it was vital the international community supported the Afghan government and helped it to spend the money effectively.

“Resources must focus on building the capacity of the Afghan government to deliver essential services at a regional and local level,” said Waldman.

“The urgent priority now is action which delivers a tangible difference for the Afghan people.”

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