UNICEF gets $4 million for water, health projects in Afghanistan

The Islamic Development Bank, as trustee of the Afghanistan Humanitarian Trust Fund (AHTF), signed two agreements with UNICEF to enhance access to clean water and essential health services in remote Afghan communities.

The first project, “Climate Resilient and Sustainable Water Supply Services for Remote Rural Communities in Afghanistan,” is supported by a $2 million grant.

This amount includes $1 million each from the Saudi Fund for Development and the Kuwait Society for Relief, according to a statement by the Islamic Development Bank.

UNICEF is contributing an additional $2 million to this year-long project, aiming to provide sustainable water services to 64,000 people in 32 villages.

Afghanistan, one of the top ten most climate-vulnerable countries globally, has faced severe droughts impacting water sources and displacing thousands.

The second initiative, focusing on “Provision of Essential Health Services to Vulnerable Women and Children in Remote Communities,” also receives $2 million, split equally between the Saudi Fund for Development and the Kuwait Society for Relief, with UNICEF matching the amount. Over 24 months, this project will fund the construction and maintenance of eight health facilities in remote areas, serving about 141,000 people, including 81,600 women and girls and 28,200 children under five.

Eng. Mohammad Jamal Alsaati, AHTF Coordinator and Special Adviser to the President of the Islamic Development Bank, emphasized the collaborative nature of these efforts: “This partnership underscores our shared commitment to alleviate the suffering in Afghanistan. Our collective actions, alongside the OIC, Saudi Fund for Development, Kuwait Society for Relief, and UNICEF, will significantly impact beneficiaries’ lives.”

Eltayeb Adam, UNICEF’s Representative to the Gulf Area, stressed the projects’ importance: “Access to clean water and healthcare is fundamental. These initiatives not only fulfill these rights but also improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Afghans.”

These agreements, benefiting over 200,000 individuals, represent a critical step in the partnership between the Islamic Development Bank, as AHTF trustee, and UNICEF, demonstrating a strong commitment to humanitarian aid and sustainable development in Afghanistan.