The United States says Afghanistan has almost run out of funds for its reconstruction efforts, and urged donor countries to provide the money they have promised.
U-S Secretary of State Colin Powell and Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill spoke Thursday at a meeting of the World Bank group on Afghan reconstruction. The one-day meeting brought together representatives from about 60 governments, private organizations and multi-lateral banks (lending institutions owned by more than two countries).
Both officials warned that the transitional Afghan government remains weak and vulnerable to warlords. They said the government in Kabul needs immediate help in establishing institutions to maintain democratic rule and to tighten, what they called, the reins of legitimate power.
Afghan officials have expressed concern about the flow of reconstruction aid that was promised by donor nations during a meeting in Tokyo in January. They say they have received only about half of the nearly two-billion dollars in foreign assistance pledged for this year.
Donor countries promised almost four-and-one-half billion dollars in aid to Afghanistan over the next five years.