Women’s Rights Groups Ask Congress To Increase Funding For Afghanistan

Leading women’s rights, human rights, and Afghan groups sent a letter to Congress today urging an increase in funding to adequately meet Afghanistan’s reconstruction needs. The letter raises concerns that Afghanistan’s reconstruction and security needs continue to be shortchanged.

The groups are asking Congress to re-evaluate the current spending priorities due to the fact that “the proposed $800 million Afghanistan reconstruction supplemental spending request represents less than 1 percent of the total $87 billion Iraq and Afghanistan package” and that “the $20 billion request for Iraq reconstruction funding is 25 times as large as the Afghanistan request. This vast disparity makes no sense. Afghanistan has approximately the same population size as Iraq. The big difference is that Afghanistan is poorer and has suffered more destruction over 23 years of war.”

In addition, the groups ask that an additional $10 million be appropriated for the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, $24 million for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and $3 million for the Judicial Reform Commission. It also ask for support for the expansion of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan due to the deteriorating security situation prevailing the country, with three more girl’s schools burned down last week.

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