AT News Report
KABUL: The World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a new humanitarian contribution of €898,200 from the European Union to help Afghan families hit-hard by last year’s drought rebuild their lives.
The contribution will allow WFP to assist 2,000 families in Afghanistan’s western province of Badghis – the epicenter of the worst drought in a decade– with monthly cash transfers distributed over a year, the WFP said in a statement on Sunday.
The latest contribution brings the EU’s humanitarian funding for WFP’s operations in Afghanistan to US$1.4 million in 2019.
“Badghis is one of the worst drought-hit provinces and the aftershocks are still clearly visible,” said Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.
“Without further assistance, the most vulnerable families will not be able to restore their livelihoods and farms. This assistance will help them rebuild their lives.”
Following the drought, WFP started providing families facing food shortages with regular cash transfers, which served as a shock-responsive social safety net scheme — a typical component of social protection systems, which consists of predictable and reliable transfers of food, cash or vouchers to vulnerable groups.
“This approach helped us bridge our humanitarian response with longer-term development solutions, moving away from simply addressing emergencies to building resilience,” said Zlatan Milisic, WFP Country Director and Representative in Afghanistan.
“Cash assistance has allowed us to proactively support vulnerable families to make sure they won’t become severely food insecure.”
The EU-funded cash transfers will be delivered through SCOPE, WFP’s digital beneficiary management platform. Thanks to this convenient solution, beneficiaries receive their monthly allowance via local mobile network operators.
WFP’s drought response from July 2018 to June 2019 included food and cash assistance to more than 500,000 people in Badghis alone, reaching 70 percent of the province’s population. With support from donors like the EU, WFP assisted 3 million people in 22 out of 34 affected provinces across Afghanistan.