Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

June-06-03

Activists, Senators Ask, "Where's the Marshall Plan for Afghanistan?"

Dozens of activists from women's rights and human rights groups filled a Senate hearing room yesterday wearing bright yellow stickers that read "Afghanistan: Where's the Marshall Plan?" Andrew Natsios, USAID administrator, testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations on the President's budget for 2004.

In his opening remarks, Ranking Committee Member Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) stated, "In Afghanistan, President Bush said we need a Marshall Plan. Yet, the amount of aid the President has requested over the past couple of years pales in comparison. The Congress had to take resources from other important programs to pay for Afghanistan. Even the amount we have appropriated falls short, warlords continue to wield power over large areas of the country, and Afghanistan¹s future remains far from secure."

In response, Natsios stated that the 2004 budget calls for $657 million for Afghanistan¹s reconstruction and for this year the total is $350 million. These amounts, however, fall far short of the funds authorized by the Afghanistan Freedom Support Act and the real needs of Afghanistan. Little of the U.S. money spent thus far in Afghanistan has gone to the central government. The central government has not been able to pay police and civil servant salaries. At the hearing, Natsios gave the U.S.-supported road-building project as an example of reconstruction success. However, the Louis Berger Group, the US firm coordinating the US part of the Kabul-Kandahar-Herat highway, recently announced that the $180 million pledged by the United States, Japan and Saudi Arabia is only enough money to rebuild part of the highway from Kabul to Kandahar.

In addition, security remains a concern in Afghanistan. Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations Special Representative to Afghanistan, asserted that Afghanistan has plunged into its worst security crisis since the end of the war last year and that Western nations are sabotaging Karzai's attempts to bring security by continuing to dismiss the need to expand the international peacekeeping force (ISAF) beyond Kabul.

The visible presence at the Appropriations Committee hearing is a part of the Feminist Majority's ongoing campaign for ISAF expansion, increased reconstruction funding, and for more resources to support the work of the Ministry of Women's Affairs and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission.

Take Action: Urge Congress to Increase Funds for Afghanistan

Media Resources: Feminist News 5/30/03; Washington Post 4/14/03; Feminist Majority


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

9/22/2014 Under the Affordable Care Act, More Women Then Ever Have Free Access to Contraception - Two-thirds of American woman now have access to free birth control, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Guttmacher Institute released a study Thursday showing steep increases in the number of women who were able to take full advantage of the ACA birth control benefit. . . .
 
9/22/2014 Climate Change Activists Take Over Manhattan to Demand Action - An estimated 400,000 people took to the streets of Manhattan over the weekend to demand world leaders take action on climate change. The People's Climate March, which some are calling the single largest call for climate action ever, took place ahead of Tuesday's emergency UN Climate Summit. Joining the march were several labor unions, former Vice President Al Gore, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and celebrities Leonardo DiCaprio and Edward Norton. . . .
 
9/22/2014 New President and National Unity Government Announced in Afghanistan - The Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced yesterday that the Afghan people have elected Dr. . . .