By: Shukria Kohistani
The Government of the Republic of Korea has contributed US$ 2 million in humanitarian assistance to UNICEF in the areas of health, nutrition, education, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and child protection through two separate projects to be implemented in four provinces of Afghanistan as Daikundi, Herat, Balkh and Nangarhar. The intervention will last for a period of twelve months and will reach more than 30,000 girls, boys, women, and men, providing them with increased access to basic services. Praising the contribution, a number of Afghan economic experts believe that if such contribution increases, it will put positive impact on the life of Afghan youth and children as most of them seriously need contribution in health, nutrition and education. They further said that Afghanistan would step towards development if the country had increasing number of literal youth, adding that providing such contribution to Afghanistan could always help Afghan children living in poverty change path of their life to the better.
A number of Afghan youth and children in their interview with The Kabul Times have asked for further contribution as they were living in poverty and hardly making a living for their families; therefore, they seriously need the assistance.
Thanks to the Korean support, UNICEF will be able to support up to 19,000 persons in hard-to-reach communities in Daikundi province. Through an integrated package of multi-sectorial humanitarian assistance, this contribution will equip education and health facilities to guarantee improved learning and health outcomes in the community, as well as strengthen the delivery of nutrition and WASH services at community level. This funding will also provide urgent humanitarian assistance to offset the impact of conflict, winter and drought. To promote sustainable improvements, communities will be encouraged to participate in community awareness and engagement activities.
“Thanks to its multi-sectoral expertise, UNICEF has a strong advantage in supporting the Government and partners to deliver integrated services to the population, and has been doing so for years”, says Dr Aboubacar Kampo, UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan. “By delivering several different services in the same community, the intervention will have a multiplier effect and add more value compared to a single-sector response”.
The contribution will also contribute to protecting children in Herat, Balkh and Nangarhar provinces against violence, abuse and exploitation. A total of 5,500 children will be supported to re-integrate in their communities after being released from armed groups and armed forces, as well as receiving information on how to avoid the risk of land mines. The project will also support tailored responses to gender-based violence, and promote awareness of child protection issues with 5,500 members in the community. Activities are part of the 2020-2021 Child Protection Plan, agreed and signed between UNICEF and relevant line ministries in January 2020.
While strengthening the capacity of Government and partners to undertake emergency interventions, the initiatives will also contribute to longer-term development outcomes in Afghanistan. Activities will build capacity of government institutions over time, as well as enhance community participation to develop collective accountability towards social behavior change.
“In Afghanistan, 56 per cent of all people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2020 are children”, says H.E. Zha Hyoung Rhee, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Afghanistan. “We have a duty to ensure they can access quality basic, integrated services and that we build their resilience in the midst of recurring conflict and natural disasters in the country”.
The Republic of Korea is a long-time supporter of UNICEF in Afghanistan, with a support of US$ 43 million devoted to the wellbeing of children since 2015. Korean support in 2018-2019 contributed to help UNICEF reach over 3.7 million people with health, nutrition and winterization efforts across the country, from newborn children to adolescents, from female teachers to community members.