ADB Approves $405 Million for Food Security, Health & Education in Afghanistan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $405 million in relief financing for food security, essential healthcare, and education in Afghanistan.

According to an official press release, the international lender will provide direct financing through four United Nations (UN) entities that have presence and logistics in Afghanistan, for immediate humanitarian assistance in response to the staggering crisis, and to help sustain the country’s human development.

The regional crisis lender will funnel aid through the UN agencies and their associated non-governmental institutions. Under its Sustaining Essential Services Delivery Project (Support for Afghan People), the World Food Programme (WFP) will get $135 million, while the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will receive $65 million.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will receive $200 million to sustain basic health care and vital hospital services for a target population of around 5.3 million people, as well as to purchase and distribute 2.3 million single-dose coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccinations for priority groups.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will receive $5 million to monitor project execution, conduct macroeconomic and social evaluations in the nation, and analyze the impact of the Asian Development Bank’s support.

Over 800,000 individuals will receive emergency food through the WFP, and over 390,000 households will receive agriculture supplies, fertilizers, or small farm equipment thanks to these subsidies. Food-for-work and cash-for-work initiatives will cover around 168,000 people.

UNICEF will reinforce 10,000 community-based academic programs, which target roughly 264,000 students, 60 percent of whom are females, and utilize the same curriculum as public schools but are supported by development partners and supervised by village leaders.

Moreover, some 10,000 community-based education instructors will get professional development from UNICEF. It will work to support the training of female school teachers as well as the placement of up to 20,000 teenage girls from low-income households in private schools. Additionally, community-based councils will supply 785,000 public school first-graders with stationery, textbooks, and other learning tools.

Accordingly, the FAO, UNICEF, and WFP will hire third-party monitoring agencies to ensure that targeted recipients receive assistance and that project operations are being monitored in the field.