ADB allocates $100 million to aid needy families in Afghanistan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has allocated $100 million to help needy families in Afghanistan, according to a statement by the World Food Program.

ADB says the aid has been provided in response to the dire circumstances faced by millions of needy people in Afghanistan.

This funding infusion will empower WFP to provide crucial food aid to over 1.3 million individuals grappling with acute food insecurity across the nation, sustaining them for a period of up to one year, said the statement.

The primary beneficiaries will encompass widow- and women-headed households, as well as other extremely vulnerable segments of society, such as individuals with disabilities and families entirely dependent on begging. For many of these afflicted families, WFP represents their last hope.

Afghanistan is grappling with an unparalleled humanitarian crisis exacerbated by the adverse effects of climate change, including severe droughts, floods, and earthquakes,” stated ADB in their official announcement of this latest contribution. “Women and children bear a disproportionate burden, with many women-led households enduring food shortages and diminished access to services due to women’s limited mobility outside their homes.”

In addition to offering immediate food relief, WFP will utilize this funding to provide training to food-insecure women in marketable and entrepreneurial skills, fostering alternative livelihoods within the agricultural value chain, such as fruit and vegetable processing.

During their training, these women will receive monthly cash transfers, enhancing their long-term livelihood prospects and self-sufficiency. Their newly acquired skills will enable them to purchase food for their families independently.

Hsiao-Wei Lee, Country Director of WFP Afghanistan, emphasized the timeliness of this contribution, stating, “This contribution arrives at a critical juncture for Afghanistan, where 15 million people are grappling with hunger, and WFP can only extend emergency food assistance to three million individuals due to a severe funding shortfall. We express our gratitude for the Asian Development Bank’s generous support, which will enable us to reach families in need well before the onset of winter, when the pangs of hunger are most acute.”

This marks the second contribution from ADB to WFP in Afghanistan, following a previous allocation of US$135 million in the past year, positioning ADB among the top five donors. In the current year, ADB said it stands as the foremost partner of WFP, underscoring its commitment to addressing the pressing hunger crisis in Afghanistan.