Afghanistan + 1 more

India announces new aid package of $500 million for Afghanistan

KABUL: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday announced a fresh Indian aid package of 500 million US dollars for Afghanistan with focus on social sector, agriculture, capacity building and infrastructure projects.

"We have decided to make a fresh commitment valued at approximately 500 million US dollars over the next few years," he said at a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai here after their talks.

India already has a commitment of 1.5 billion US dollars in Afghanistan.

The new package will consist of specific projects and schemes and other initiatives that will be developed in consultation with the Afghan government, Singh said.

Giving a broad outline, he said India will increase its focus on the social sector, agriculture, capacity building, access to Indian market and continue with its infrastructure projects.

Of the new aid package, 100 million US dollars will be for the third phase of India's programme of small development projects, over and above the previous pledge of 20 million US dollars.

The package will also include donation of 1000 buses for Kabul and other municipalities with provision for maintenance support, training and infrastructure.