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EU provides €39m to boost Afghanistan coronavirus response

AT News

KABUL: As part of the EU’s global coronavirus response, an EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight will depart on 15 June from Maastricht, Netherlands to Kabul, Afghanistan. The flight will deliver 100 tonnes of life-saving materials to supply EU-funded humanitarian partners. The flight is fully EU funded and is part of ongoing Air Bridge flights to critical areas of the world, European Commission said in a statement on Monday.

The EU is also providing a new aid package of €39 million to boost coronavirus response as well as to help victims of war, forced displacement and natural disasters in Afghanistan.

Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “At this difficult time, the EU continues to stand by the most vulnerable in Afghanistan. The coronavirus pandemic poses huge logistical challenges for the humanitarian community, while the needs remain high in critical areas. With this air bridge, the EU is delivering vital assistance such as food, nutrition, water, shelter to ensure aid reaches as many people as possible and to help support the people of Afghanistan.”

EU humanitarian projects in Afghanistan focus on providing emergency healthcare, shelter, food assistance, access to clean water and sanitation facilities, as well as various protection services supporting women and children.

Since 2019, almost €100 million in humanitarian support has been allocated to ensure critical relief assistance to the most vulnerable.

In addition, the EU-funded Emergency Response Mechanism helps people recently displaced across Afghanistan. In 2019 and 2020, the Mechanism reached 400,000 people in all provinces through the delivery of aid such as clean water and access to sanitation services.

Insecurity and ongoing conflict continue to cause large-scale suffering and displacement of people throughout Afghanistan and the wider region. Over 3.5 million people are in need of essential health services. Some 13.5 million people do not have enough to eat and at least 9 million people need food assistance.

The EU has funded humanitarian operations in Afghanistan since 1992, providing close to €935 million to date.

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