Reuters, Kabul : The Obama administration will unveil on Monday a package of aid initiatives it hopes will help Afghanistan, still one of the world’s poorest countries after a dozen years of massive international aid efforts, shield itself from the departure of foreign troops and an expected drop in assistance. The announcement from the US. Agency for International Development (USAID) of three new development initiatives worth almost $300 million is part of a US. effort to ensure that Afghanistan, as its ‘war economy’ ends, won’t slide backwards into greater poverty or reverse gains made over the last 12 years in health, education and other areas. “The question is, what can we do now to make sure Afghanistan is as healthy, sustainable and feasible as possible going forward,” Larry Sampler, the agency’s chief official for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said in an interview. The initiatives extend US. assistance for Afghanistan’s food sector; seek to help the Afghan government boost revenue and join the World Trade Organization within a year; and secure agreements between US. and Afghan universities to ensure young Afghans are trained for jobs. But how much outside help aid-reliant Afghanistan will receive in the years ahead remains in doubt, as uncertainty continues about a possible post-2014 NATO troop presence and as fiscal pressures in donor nations squeeze aid budgets. Last month, US. lawmakers halved civilian aid for Afghanistan, reflecting growing reluctance in Congress to continue generous aid levels there, concerns about waste and fraud, and frustration with the Afghan government itself.