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EU helps vulnerable Afghans with lifesaving assistance

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KABUL: The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has welcomed a new contribution of EUR 3.6 million from the European Union (EU) that will help provide lifesaving assistance to the most vulnerable Afghans affected by natural and man-made disasters.

A statement issued by WFP said that “Humanitarian needs across Afghanistan are high and communities in hard-to-reach areas, often with minimal healthcare services, are amongst those most in need of assistance,” said Luigi Pandolfi, head of EU humanitarian programs in Afghanistan. “Coronavirus struck Afghanistan at a time of urgent needs and therefore the capacity of aid workers to reach food-insecure families, malnourished children and mothers has never been more important.”

This contribution will allow WFP to distribute food to nearly 470,000 people displaced by conflict or affected by natural hazards, including seasonal flooding and landslides. It will also help WFP reach more than 150,000 malnourished children as well as pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in remote areas with food and nutrition assistance through mobile health teams.

 “We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the EU,” said Robert Kasca, WFP Deputy Country Director and Officer-in-Charge in Afghanistan. “This generous funding comes at a critical time, as needs are rising rapidly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will help us save and protect many lives, offering critical support to communities which are still struggling to overcome the long-term impact of conflict and insecurity, compounded by the worst drought in a decade that hit the country in 2018.”

 Recently, the EU has contributed an additional EUR 500,000 to boost WFP’s supply chain capacity in Afghanistan. With that funding, WFP will purchase four new all-terrain trucks to replace old vehicles that have been in service for three decades. The country has some of the world’s most rugged terrain and the new trucks will help WFP deliver food to those who need it most, especially in hard-to-reach areas.

 As one of WFP’s top humanitarian donors, the EU has provided over EUR 6 million to support WFP’s work in Afghanistan over the last five years, including social protection activities which have helped families in western Badghis province rebuild their lives after the devastating drought.

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