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Afghanistan Freedom and Security Support Act Enters the US Senate

The Afghanistan Freedom and Security Support Act (AFSSA) passed in the House of Representatives on June 6. A Senate bill is now being drafted, pending approval in the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The Embassy has been actively involved in interacting with key members of the US Congress to help in supporting Afghanistan’s interests in the development and drafting of the AFSSA legislation.

The AFSSA authorizes $1.7 billion in each of fiscal years 2008 through 2010 for economic and development assistance. The funds could be used for humanitarian assistance, economic development including reconstruction, and programs related to political and social issues, such as anti-corruption efforts and assistance for women. One key provision in the legislation requires the appointment of an ambassadorial level U.S. coordinator of reconstruction aid to ensure policy consistency among relevant U.S. governmental agencies, and to pursue coordination with other countries and international organizations. The bill also calls for a pilot program to test the effectiveness of substituting legitimate alternative crops for poppy production. To further enhance women’s rights, $45 million will be made available each fiscal year for the Afghan Ministry of Women's Affairs, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commissions, and various programs for women and girls. The bill further authorizes $75 million each fiscal year for emergency energy resources and new power generation.

The Embassy will continue to provide updates on any progress made in the passage of this bill, which is crucial to ensuring Afghanistan’s progress toward a secure and prosperous state.

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