KABUL: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $405 million in grants to support food security and help sustain the delivery of essential health and education services for the Afghan people.
Under its Sustaining Essential Services Delivery Project (Support for Afghan People), ADB said, it will provide direct financing to four United Nations (UN) agencies which have presence and logistics in Afghanistan, for immediate humanitarian support in response to the unprecedented crisis and to help sustain the country’s human development. This direct support will be implemented through the UN agencies and their partner nongovernmental organizations.
Some 22.8 million people are at risk of acute food insecurity, according to UN estimates. The World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will receive $135 million and $65 million respectively. These funds will enable the provision of emergency food to over 800,000 people and farm inputs, fertilizers, or small farm equipment to around 390,000 households. Around 168,000 people will be covered under food-for-work and cash-for-work programs.
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 about 5.3 million people, and the procurement and deployment of 2.3 million single-dose coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines for priority groups.
The grant will also enable UNICEF to strengthen 10,000 community-based education classes—which use the same curriculum as public schools but are funded by development partners and supervised by village leaders—reaching around 264,000 children, 60% of which are girls.
UNICEF will provide professional development programs to 10,000 community-based education teachers. It will seek to promote the development of secondary education female teachers and the placement of up to 20,000 adolescent girls from vulnerable families in private schools. Stationary, textbooks, and other learning materials will be provided to 785,000 public school 1st graders through community-based councils.
The United Nations Development Programme will receive $5 million to monitor project implementation, undertake macroeconomic and social assessments in the country, and assess the impact of ADB’s assistance.
FAO, UNICEF, and WFP will engage third-party monitoring firms to verify the delivery of support to targeted beneficiaries and monitor project activities in the field.