Afghanistan needs $27.5 billion over the next seven years to disarm regional militias, wipe out its opium industry, and rebuild its economy. That's the message conveyed by President Hamid Karzai to an international donors conference in Berlin on Mar. 31. Although no one expects Afghanistan to win pledges for that sum soon, the U.S., Japan, the European Union, and other nations promised a total of $8.2 billion in aid over the next three years, officials say. The aid is seen as crucial in helping Afghanistan prepare for elections in September.

Edited by Rose Brady

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