AfDB approves $405 million to support food security, health and education in Afghanistan

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The Asian Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $405 million in grants to support food security and help maintain the delivery of essential health and education services for the Afghan people.

As part of its Continuing Essential Service Delivery (Support to the Afghan People) project, the AfDB will provide direct funding to four United Nations (UN) agencies that have a presence and logistics in Afghanistan, for humanitarian support. immediate response to the unprecedented crisis and to help support the country’s human development. This direct support will be implemented through United Nations agencies and their partner non-governmental organizations.

Some 22.8 million people are at risk of acute food insecurity, according to UN estimates. The World Food Program (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will receive $135 million and $65 million respectively. These funds will make it possible to provide emergency food to more than 800,000 people and agricultural inputs, fertilizers or small agricultural equipment to approximately 390,000 households. About 168,000 people will be covered by food-for-work and cash-for-work programmes.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will receive $200 million to maintain basic health care and essential hospital services, covering a target population of approximately 5.3 million people, and the purchase and the deployment of 2.3 million single-dose coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines for priority groups.

The grant will also allow UNICEF to strengthen 10,000 community education classes – which use the same curriculum as public schools but are funded by development partners and supervised by village chiefs – reaching approximately 264,000 children, including 60% girls.

UNICEF will provide professional development programs to 10,000 community teachers. It will seek to promote the development of female secondary teachers and the placement of up to 20,000 adolescent girls from vulnerable families in private schools. Stationery, textbooks and other learning materials will be provided to 785,000 public school first graders through community councils.

The United Nations Development Program will receive $5 million to monitor project implementation, undertake in-country macroeconomic and social assessments, and assess the impact of AfDB assistance.

FAO, UNICEF and WFP will engage third-party monitoring companies to verify delivery of aid to targeted beneficiaries and monitor project activities on the ground.

The grants are financed by the Asian Development Fund which provides grants to the poorest and most vulnerable developing member countries of the AfDB.

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