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EU pledges €12m for vulnerable Afghans

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KABUL: The European Union has pledged €12 million to support vulnerable Afghans in the midst of the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

The funding, provided to the Aga Khan Foundation, the Danish Refugee Council, and the Rehabilitation Association and Agriculture Development for Afghanistan, aims to address the immediate basic needs of affected individuals. Key areas of support include sustainable food production, climate-smart agriculture, resilient infrastructure, community-based employment, income-generation, savings opportunities, and market-oriented business development.

“Recognizing the pressing issues faced by millions of hungry Afghans, particularly women, the EU is committed to standing by the Afghan people. The investment in sustainable food production, climate-smart agriculture, and resilient infrastructure is intended to make a tangible difference in the lives of Afghans both now and in the future,” said Raffaella Iodice, EU Chargée d’Affaires a.i. at the EU Delegation to Afghanistan.

The project aims to safeguard the livelihoods of marginalized communities and enhance their resilience to external shocks and stressors. The funding will directly contribute to improved food and income security for vulnerable households, empowering them to become more self-reliant, said Dr. Najmuddin Najm, CEO of Aga Khan Foundation Afghanistan.

The Danish Refugee Council Afghanistan also welcomed the EU funding, highlighting its potential to provide essential assistance to crisis-affected Afghans. The project seeks to promote resilience and facilitate the recovery of key markets for sustainable income generation and employment creation in underserved areas of Afghanistan.

Furthermore, the initiative led by the Aga Khan Foundation, the Danish Refugee Council, and the Rehabilitation Association and Agriculture Development for Afghanistan will have a long-term impact on the socio-economic status of communities. By improving social, financial, and physical resources, the project aims to enhance the livelihoods of 7,000 families. Dr. Nazir Ahmad Ghafoori, Director of the RAADA Organization, highlighted the project’s contribution to the development of silk, saffron, and raisin value chains, providing a sustainable income source for the people of Herat and Farah provinces.

Spanning over 36 months, the program specifically targets rural and underserved areas in northern, central highlands, and western Afghanistan. The initiative is expected to directly benefit over 70,000 individuals, with 62% of the beneficiaries being women, and nearly 500,000 household members across seven provinces. The community-based and market-oriented interventions aim to promote autonomy and sustainability among the beneficiaries, while also enabling them to adapt to and recover from future shocks more effectively.

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