KABUL: The EU-Delegation in Kabul on Tuesday announced an additional support of 35 million Euros to tackle the ongoing pandemic and mitigate its socioeconomic impacts in Afghanistan. Since the start of the pandemic, the EU has mobilised almost 147 million Euros to address the immediate health crisis and provide humanitarian assistance to the people in need.
“The pandemic has exacerbated an already grim situation in Afghanistan, creating even bigger needs in a country for decades plagued by war. Together with partners and in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, the EU’s contribution aims to support those who suffer the most from this crisis. The three projects launched today (Tuesday) will contribute to this further” says EU Ambassador Andreas Von Brandt.
The 35 million Euros announced today (Tuesday) will contribute to strengthening the response capacity of health systems, to test and treat patients, to improve infection prevention, to raise awareness and to reduce nutritional risks through three projects implemented by the World Health Organization, UNICEF and a consortium led by the Aga Khan Foundation.
“As preparation for vaccine rollout signals new hope in Afghanistan’s fight against COVID-19, continued investment in testing, surveillance, clinical care, protection of health workers and essential health services reins vital for containing the spread of the virus in addition to offering quality medical care” says David Lai, Officer in Charge at the WHO.
Import restrictions and widespread unemployment have worsened food insecurity, and through the support of the EU and its partners 300 000 children and their mothers will also receive community nutrition services.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has put additional strain on the already weak health system and worsened underlying health and gender vulnerabilities. This generous EU funding will allow UNICEF to respond quickly to this secondary wave of challenges which profoundly affects the health and safety of children and women” says Sheema Sen Gupta, Representative a.i, UNICEF Afghanistan.
The projects implemented by UNICEF and the Aga Khan led consortium includes actions to mitigate women’s, children’s and teenager’s vulnerability to various forms of gender-based violence, including domestic violence.
“With the support of the EU, the Aga Khan Foundation led consortium with Cordaid will reach 8.4 million direct and indirect beneficiaries in 16 provinces” says Ambassador Sheherazade Hirji, Aga Khan Development Network Diplomatic Representative.