The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a news release on Wednesday that it approved $400 million in grants to protect the welfare and livelihoods of vulnerable Afghan people, particularly women and girls, and ease the adverse impact of the ongoing humanitarian crisis.
According to the news release, “the support, delivered through the United Nations (UN), will address emergency food needs, enhance domestic food production for medium-term food security, and provide core health services for the Afghan people.”
According to the ADB, a $100 million grant will enable the World Food Programme (WFP) to provide critical food assistance to more than 1.32 million acutely food-insecure people, prioritizing women-headed households and highly vulnerable groups.
Another $100 million grant will enable the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to provide agricultural production support to more than 309,000 farm households for the cultivation of wheat, summer crops, vegetables, and livestock protection.
“More than 2.1 million people are expected to benefit from the FAO support,” the ADB said.
The press release further said that a $200 million grant will be given to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which will expand existing support and provide core health services in 10 provinces across the country covering about 7.5 million people.
“This includes basic health services such as newborn and maternal care, and essential hospital services, including nutrition and surgical care,” the press release said, adding the World Bank will support the same health services in Afghanistan’s 24 other provinces.
The project builds on ADB’s existing $405 million grant project, approved in January 2022, to support food security, essential health and education services for the Afghan people via the UN.
“More than 75% of this funding has been disbursed,” the press release said.
Afghanistan is experiencing a dire humanitarian crisis with more than 90 percent of the country’s population in need of assistance, according to the international organization’s reports.
The European Union in Afghanistan wrote on social media that “the EU is mobilising €140 million in basic needs and livelihoods assistance to support the Afghan people.”
According to the EU “funding supports education, health, agriculture and women's economic empowerment.” The aid package was blocked in December last year in response to the ban on women working in NGOs in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Economy (MoE) welcomed the continuation of international assistance to Afghanistan, saying that it was needed to improve the conditions of the people.
“The assistance of the ADB and the EU are very effective to the people of Afghanistan. We welcome this assistance. We request the development and humanitarian assistance be increased for the people of Afghanistan,” said Abdul Latif Nazari, deputy Minister of Economy.
The ADB said that the project will contribute to the international community’s ongoing efforts to support the people of Afghanistan and will be implemented in close coordination with the UN, World Bank, and other partners.
The project will be implemented outside of the “de facto government’s systems” and in line with ADB’s approach to fragile and conflict situations.
A third-party monitoring firm will be engaged by the UN agencies to monitor implementation and verify the delivery of support to target beneficiaries, according to the press release.