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Karzai Says Health, Education Top Priority - 2002-07-10


Afghan President Hamid Karzai says the bulk of Afghanistan's annual budget will be used for the war-torn country's health and education systems.

Addressing a seminar in Kabul today (Wednesday), Mr. Karzai said the funding would come from cuts in the defense, interior and intelligence ministry budgets.

The president said that when his transitional government came to power, the Afghan people told him they first wanted peace and security, and then they wanted improved education.

Afghanistan's health and education systems have been shattered by 23 years of war. The ousted Islamic fundamentalist Taleban regime banned education for women. In March, one million children -- including girls -- returned to school after a five-year disruption in formal education.

Afghanistan has been promised about four-point-five billion dollars in recovery aid from international donors.

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