Government of Germany, through KfW, contributes €20 million to ensure better nutrition of children and women in Afghanistan
With this contribution, UNICEF will provide better access to nutrition services for over 920,000 children under 5, over 315,000 adolescent girls, and over 368,000 pregnant or breastfeeding women
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – Undernutrition is one of the most significant challenges for children, teenage girls and women in Afghanistan. Recent data from Afghanistan’s provinces shows levels of chronic malnutrition in over half the population. Mothers cannot feed themselves and many can only feed their children twice a day, and often only bread and tea. They cannot afford to buy nutritious food.
“Access to food is a basic human right of which especially women and children are too often deprived. This is particularly true for Afghanistan, where more than 90 per cent of female-led households suffer from hunger or food insecurity,” says Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze. “The contribution by the German Development Cooperation to UNICEF reflects Germany’s feminist approach to development cooperation, which seeks to address the special needs of women worldwide. It is our hope that this project will sustainably prevent undernutrition, provide the right information for women to make healthy choices – for themselves and their children – and ensure they have the financial resources and supportive environment to do so.”
To provide better access to services which improve nutrition for children, young girls, and mothers, this €20 million will allow UNICEF to:
- Train 1,880 community health workers and over 1,700 staff in health facilities to provide better care
- Conduct mass media campaigns, reaching over 1.2 million people with information and awareness messages on good nutrition
- Provide micronutrient powders for children and provide iron and folic acid supplements for teenage girls so they get the vitamins and minerals they require
In addition, UNICEF will provide unconditional, unrestricted cash assistance to 3,000 vulnerable families. This cash assistance will allow parents to improve their diets and buy nutritious foods for their children.
“Many girls and boys in Afghanistan are burdened by exceptionally poor nutrition which can prevent them from reaching their full cognitive potential. When mothers are malnourished, they give birth prematurely and bear underweight babies. They struggle to breastfeed. This puts infants at a disadvantage from the moment they are born, and makes them more susceptible to disease,” says Dr. Mohamed Ayoya, UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan. “We are grateful for this contribution from the Government of Germany through KfW. With it, UNICEF can continue providing access to quality healthcare and nutrition services, especially through community health volunteers who work at the grassroots level where they are known and trusted by the community.”
The project will be implemented over 36 months and targets eight provinces in the Northern and Eastern Regions of Afghanistan, where as many as 7 out of every 10 children are chronically malnourished.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org
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