Afghanistan in line for more UK aid

Afghanistan priorities go beyond the military
Afghanistan priorities go beyond the military

By staff

Britain is set to nearly double its aid spending to Afghanistan, according to reports.

International development secretary Andrew Mitchell said he had "in principle" identified a 40% increase from the current £500 million budget as donors prepare for the Kabul conference on Afghan development coming this week.

He told the BBC's Politics Show that the extra money had been found from "less good programmes".

The Observer newspaper reported that countries in South America and eastern Europe were likely to suffer as a result of the Department for International Development's review of its spending priorities.

"While the military bring much-needed security, peace will only be achieved by political progress backed by development," Mr Mitchell is expected to say as he announces the issue tomorrow.

"I am determined to back up the efforts of our armed forces as we work towards a withdrawal of combat troops."

Britain's commitment to maintaining international development spending in Afghanistan took an initial backwards step after defence secretary Liam Fox insisted British forces were not fighting "for the sake of the education policy in a broken, 13th century state".

Mr Mitchell argued Afghanistan was an unusual case because improving its development directly helped boost Britain's national security.


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