Building on its longstanding relationship with the European Union (EU) in Afghanistan, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) has signed a grant agreement with its humanitarian arm. The €2.8 million grant will bolster AKF’s ongoing efforts to support the people of Afghanistan amidst one of the world’s most dire humanitarian crises.
Humanitarian needs in Afghanistan continue to rise with an estimated 24.4 million people in need and 23 million experiencing crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity. Mountainous areas in the northeast and central highlands faced high food insecurity pre-August 2021 due to remoteness, small landholdings, a short growing season, and drought. Political and economic shocks in the aftermath of August 2021 have compounded this, leaving many without access to sufficient food or water.
Through the 12-month emergency response project, AKF, alongside the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, will reach nearly 100,000 vulnerable, drought-affected people with life-saving assistance.
Over 35,000 people will be provided with emergency food support through the provision of a basket of basic goods, sufficient to feed a family of seven. Wherever possible, this assistance will be provided in cash to support the local economy.
To address the acute shortage of safe drinking water due to the drought and damaged water supply systems, reduce the prevalence of waterborne diseases and mitigate protection risks for women and girls who travel long distances to collect water, the project will rehabilitate or construct 68 water wells and water piping systems to improve access to safe, clean drinking water for over 20,000 people.
Further, as many latrines have been damaged or destroyed during the conflict and many displaced people do not have access to sufficient latrines, the project will rehabilitate 1,300 latrines, benefiting at least 9,100 people. This will contribute to the reduction of communicable diseases and improve the safety and dignity of communities, particularly women and girls. To complement these activities and address a lack of access to hygiene supplies due to reduced incomes and availability in markets, hygiene kits will be delivered to 6,000 households.
Finally, the project will support the livelihoods of rural Afghans through the protection of livestock. Due to the past and ongoing drought, the shutdown of veterinarian services following August 2021, and limited or no access to inputs (feed, medicines), livestock mortality rates have risen dramatically while productivity levels have decreased. This directly impacts farmers’ income. The project will therefore support animal health workers to reach nearly 16,000 farmers with emergency animal health services and medicines, as well as supply feed to over 2,000 farmers and fodder seeds to a further 500.
Through this and all of its programmes, AKF is working to build the resilience of vulnerable Afghan communities so that they are better equipped to respond to the evolving nature of this crisis. AKF is firmly committed to the people of Afghanistan and will continue to nurture partnerships in order to provide effective, sustainable and locally relevant support.
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.”