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A large international conference on Afghanistan will be held for the first time in 10 years since 2002 in Tokyo. To highlight this milestone event, a symposium will be organized in view of conveying the voice of Afghan civil society to the international community and discuss the challenges the country faces including poverty and peace building. About 30 people from Afghanistan representing media, NGO, labor union, etc., are to participate in the event.
In Afghanistan, basic infrastructures and livelihoods of people have been destroyed as a result of the conflict lasted for more than 20 years. The condition has made the country one of the poorest with severe social and economic situations. There are still many challenges in the lives of women and children in particular. People have been forced to live suppressed and had been also deprived of their opportunities for education by prolonged warfare. A number of people are not yet able to pull them out of refugee or IDP (Internally Displaced Person) status due to the continuously unstable security situation. Afghanistan today is still in need of an ample amount of humanitarian assistance.
Japan has pledged to contribute up to about U. S. $ 5 billion over five years from 2009 in the fields of improvement of security maintaining capabilities, support for the social reintegration of ex-soldiers and assistance for sustainable development in Afghanistan. Japanese NGOs have particularly played a major role in the field of development. NGOs will continue to implement projects that can directly impact the life of the Afghan population through school construction, teachers training, mine risk education, improvement of water and sanitation, agriculture support, and improvement to health care services.