UNITED NATIONS
Assistance for Afghanistan


Weekly Update No.399
February 7, 2001

Pledges and Contribution

In 2001, pledges and contributions for Assistance to Afghanistan are as follows:

* European Union: US$3.5 million for demining and repatriation, * Norway: US$2,270,736 for Human Rights Advisor’s office, refugees in Pakistan, relief emergency and drought, * Canada: US$666,667 for internally displaced people (IDP) and refugees, * Sweden: US$520,833 for seeds, * OCHA Emergency Grant: US$30,000 for relief assistance, and * USA: US$200,000 for non-food items assistance to IDPs

Departure of UNICEF Country Representative

Mr Louis-Georges Arsenault, Country Representative of UNICEF Afghanistan, whose mission was completed after a period of two years and half working in Afghanistan, departed last week.

“I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to work in Afghanistan at this point in time of its tumultuous history. It's been a wonderful experience and very rewarding indeed. The Afghan people have marked my heart forever. I will never forget their suffering, their stunning resilience and their capacity to be proud, keeping their head high, in the worst circumstances, ” Mr Arsenault said.

World Bank Fears Famine in Afghanistan

John Wall, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan and Afghanistan, expressed dismay over the worsening impact of drought, conflict, and displacement on the people of Afghanistan. “Although the World Bank is not a relief agency, I want to add our voice to the many that are speaking out about this tragic situation.” he said. Mr. Wall stated that “Funding and capacity ur-gently need to be scaled up in line with the growing needs, and the newly-arrived Af-ghan refugees in Pakistan also need to be cared for.” According to the World Bank, international assistance for Afghanistan has been seriously under-funded, especially non-food support as opposed to food aid. Funding and capacity urgently need to be scaled up substantially. While providing emergency relief to save lives and reduce human suffering, adequate resources also need to be allocated to help agricultural production to recover and restore the longer-term food security of Afghans.

Health

UNICEF, under the Safe Motherhood Initiative (SMI), supported the establishment of a basic emergency obstetric care ward at Pulialam Clinic in Logar provice. Upgrading of the clinic also includes rehabilitation of two wells for the provision of safe drinking water to the clinic.

WHO in collaboration with MoPH and UNICEF conducted a cross border campaign against polio in districts bordering Pakistan. Over 20 teams in southern, south-eastern and eastern regions were immunising children at the border crossing points with Pakistan.

UNICEF has spent US$500,000 for IDPs in Herat since June 2000, and pro-vided support for the vaccination campaigns in the camps by health NGOs. Meanwhile, UNICEF is planning to allocate more funds for immediate procurement of shoes, clothes, blankets and heating stoves, in addition to 53,500 sweaters and 18,500 blankets already distributed.

Implementation and further planning of accelerated routine immunization and National Immunization Days (NIDs) are ongoing.

Training

WHO Ghazni, in collaboration with the Public Health Department (PHD) and health NGOs, conducted training courses on district health management for medical and paramedical staff from Maqor, Deh Yak and Jaghato health centers of Ghazni province.

Disability

German doctors arrived in Kandahar for the treatment of disabled Afghans. In solidarity with Afghan disabled people, the German government assembled a large number of highly qualified doctors on a seven day tour to Kandahar. The aim of the mission is to offer all possible medical as well as surgical treatment for disabled people.

UNOPS/CDAP Kandahar has introduced 200 disabled Afghans to the International Fried Sdorf (German doctors committee) for possible treatment. Complicated cases, in demand of specialized treatments, may be taken to Germany for further treatment. The Comprehensive Disabled Afghans Programme (CDAP) conducted a physiotherapy course for community members, volunteers and field workers in Kandahar last week.

A three-day training course in employment support, micro-credit and vocational training was arranged for CDAP fe-male field workers in Ghazni, Wardak and Logar provinces. The training was aimed at increasing the capability of local disabled and marginalised women receiving revolving loan and vocational training.

Demining

The manual teams and mine dog groups surveyed and marked a total of 815,000 sqm of high priority agricultural area for clearance and cleared 172,000 sqm of high priority land in various districts of Kandahar last week. Over 200 people have received mine awareness training in southern region.

Water and Sanitation

With support from UNICEF, the Rural Rehabilitation Department (RRD) in Kabul completed the installation of 10 handpumps on newly drilled wells in the Baraki District of Logar province. RRD also completed the construction of 300 latrines in Bagrami District of Kabul. Social mobilisers of RRD also provided 800 women and men with health and hygiene education messages.

UNCHS continued to support pro-vision of shelter, water, sanitation and social services to communities in urban centres of Kandahar, Herat and Farah provinces. Following the installation of 210 handpumps in Kandahar, 50 extra hand-pumps were received from Habitat Kabul for installation in various parts of the city. Over 20 dried wells have been rehabilitated in Kandahar City.

Education

Ten trucks of school supplies for 500 primary schools, supported by the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA), were transported to Afghanistan last week. Over 5,000 teachers and 200,000 students in 18 provinces will benefit from these supplies. More than 40 teachers from Kabul, Kapisa and Kunar provinces are attending a two months Teachers Training Course at the SCA training centre in Kabul.

With support from UNICEF and Save the Children (US), over 2,000 girls and boys receive basic education in the ex-Soviet compound in Kabul.

UNICEF continues to support literacy programmes and numeracy and skill development training for 100 women, carried out by the General Working and Development Association (GWA) in Kabul. The trainees have also mastered tailoring, carpet weaving and embroidery.

As part of regional health and education coordination, CDAP donated education materials to over 100 female and male students of the Kandahar nursing school. UNICEF provided a number of education materials and kits for CDAP-supported community schools active in Kandahar. Local authorities have approved the education programme supporting com-munities’ demands for education of their girls and boys.

Agriculture

FAO procured 45 tonnes of maize, pulses and rice seeds from contract seed growers of Oruzgan, Helmand and Kandahar provinces.

Nearly 10,000 litres of milk were collected from various districts of Kanda-har, and marketed after processing through sale outlets.

A total of 500 budded fruit saplings were distributed to private nursery owners and local community farmers in Gozara and Enjil districts of Herat Province. FAO monitored 30 seed production plots in various districts in Farah.

Food Security

Over 900 tonnes of wheat were distributed to vulnerable farmers and drought-affected families in Nimroz, Helmand and Kandahar provinces.


Office of the UN Co-ordinators for Afghanistan,
Islamabad, Pakistan.




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