A $20 billion charity gift from Australia has been handed over to the US to support the US mission in Afghanistan, the US Department of State has said.
Key points:The donation was made in August and has already boosted the number of US military personnel in AfghanistanThe US is the third-largest contributor to the Afghan mission, following the US and BritainThe charity says it is “deeply humbled and appreciates” the giftsIt will support the mission until the end of 2021The US has already spent $6 billion in Afghanistan since the US-led Nato-led coalition entered in 2001.
The gift will be handed over on Friday and the US ambassador to Australia, Richard Verma, said it was a “fundamental milestone” for the country.
“This is a great day for Afghanistan and the American people, and it is a gift that we will continue to support until the mission ends,” Mr Verma said.
“It is an important milestone in the Afghan effort to achieve lasting peace and stability, and to bring peace to Afghanistan,” he said.
The US ambassador said it is the “first gift of its kind” from Australia.
“Australia has been a leader in providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan for decades, and this donation is a critical step forward in the effort to end the war there,” Mr Pfeiffer said.