EU increases aid pledge to Afghanistan and its neighbours to €1bn

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The European Union will give an additional 700 million euros ($809.2 million) in emergency aid to Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries, the European Commission said ahead of Tuesday’s Group of 20 Afghan summit.

The pledge takes the total commitment of new funding to 1 billion euros after the EU executive’s earlier promise of 300 million euros to help to prevent basic services in Afghanistan from collapsing and food from running out.

“We must do all we can to avert a major humanitarian and socio-economic collapse in Afghanistan,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement, adding that the Islamic militants who seized Kabul on Aug. 15 must first meet the EU’s five conditions for longer-term aid.