Islamic Development Bank and UNICEF sign agreements for nearly US$ 2 million to provide clean water and life-saving nutrition services for children in Afghanistan
These funds, provided through the Afghanistan Humanitarian Trust Fund, will allow UNICEF to provide clean water for 32,000 people and treat over 18,700 children for severe acute malnutrition
JEDDAH, 12 MAY 2023 – To provide clean water in rural Afghan communities and help treat children suffering from malnutrition, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), as trustee of the Afghanistan Humanitarian Trust Fund (AHTF), has signed two agreements with UNICEF for nearly US$ 2 million. These AHTF grants come from King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) contributions to the fund.
The agreements were signed by Eng. Mohammad J. Alsaati, Special Adviser to the President of IsDB and Coordinator of the AHTF, and by Mr. Eltayeb Adam, the UNICEF Representative to the Gulf Area during the 2023 IsDB Group Annual Meeting currently underway in Jeddah.
H.E. Dr. Muhammed Al Jasser, President of the IsDB Group, states, “Food and water are essentials for the survival of any human being. These two projects aim to reduce malnutrition among children under five and provide clean, sustainable water resources to remote communities in Afghanistan. This support is much needed by our sons, daughters, brothers and sisters of Afghanistan and I am thrilled that IsDB through AHTF will be working with UNICEF to relieve their suffering and save lives. Saving lives requires a collective effort and now is the time to act as a team for the benefit of the people in Afghanistan”.
The two AHTF projects include:
- US$ 1 million for climate-resilient and sustainable water supply in Paktia and Logar Provinces, targeting 32,000 people in 16 villages
- US$ 953,301 for life-saving nutrition services in Kandahar Province, targeting 18,372 children under five suffering from severe acute malnutrition
According to the 2022 Whole of Afghanistan Assessment, 27 per cent of the population is without access to safe drinking water. With these funds from AHTF, UNICEF will provide safe drinking water to 32,000 people in 16 remote villages in Logar and Paktia Provinces through solar-powered water supply systems. UNICEF will also help establish and train 16 water user committees – one in each targeted village – to help manage the water systems. Two mechanics per community will also be trained on operation and maintenance of the water supply systems.
In Kandahar, 13 per cent of acute malnutrition among children and women is above the emergency threshold. In 2023, UNICEF and the Nutrition Cluster aim to treat 35,075 severely acutely malnourished children in Kandahar Province alone. These funds from AHTF will allow UNICEF to purchase ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) to treat 18,372 children for severe acute malnutrition.
“The lives of our Afghan brothers and sisters have been tragically impacted by the ongoing humanitarian crisis,” says Eng. Mohammad J. Alsaati, Special Adviser to the President of IsDB and Coordinator of the AHTF. Through these two projects, AHTF and its donor partners aim to increase access to clean water and combat child malnutrition, two key metrics which will improve the quality of life within the country’s vulnerable communities. As a trustee for AHTF, IsDB remains committed to tackling humanitarian crises and supporting sustainable development alongside leading multinational organizations.”
“These contributions will make a tangible impact for children in Afghanistan, as UNICEF expects 875,000 children to suffer from severe acute malnutrition this year yet faces a shortage of RUTF to treat them,” says Mr. Eltayeb Adam, UNICEF Representative to the Gulf Area. “Clean water is also linked to health and nutrition; when a child does not have safe drinking water, it affects their hygiene and puts them at risk of diarrhea diseases and poor nutrition absorption. As Afghanistan is ranked fifth among countries most at-risk of climate-related disasters and other impacts of climate change worldwide, it is increasingly important we find sustainable ways to ensure children and their families have the water resources they need to thrive.
The two AHTF-supported projects will last for 12 months. They represent the first agreements UNICEF has ever signed with the AHTF.
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