Afghanistan: World Bank provides $150 million lifeline to stem hunger in rural areas |

Some 19.7 million people, nearly half of Afghanistan’s population, face acute hunger, meaning they are unable to feed themselves on a daily basis, according to the latest analysis of the Integrated Phase Classification of Security Index (IPC) released last month by UN and aid partners including FAO and the World Food Program (WFP).

“We are grateful to the World Bank and its members for their generous and timely contribution,” said FAO Director-General QU Dongyu.

historic moment

Ripple effects of war in Ukraine worsen food security situationpushing food prices to new highs, increasing food production costs, especially fertilizers, and pressuring countries in the region supplying wheat to Afghanistan, to restrict food exports, in order to ensure supplies sufficient interiors.

The new Afghanistan Emergency Food Security Project will boost the production of food crops for small-scale Afghan farmers.

This is the first installment of a total of $195 million, with an additional $45 million to be released over the next 24 months.

This is a historic moment for poor farmers in Afghanistan, and it represents an important milestone in our collective efforts to achieve results. at scale, avert impending disaster and make real transformative differences in the lives of vulnerable people,” Mr QU said.

Focus on wheat

FAO will be the sole implementing partner for the funding, which will focus on two main components.

In terms of wheat production, it will support about 2.1 million people during the November and March-November 2023 planting seasons.

The project will also provide targeted support to the nutritional needs of children, people with disabilities or chronic illnesses, and female-headed households. Seeds and basic tools will be provided for the vegetable garden, as well as technical training on improved nutrition and climate-smart production practices.

Target women

Nearly one million people will benefit from this support, particularly rural women: some 150,000 of them will receive training in improved farming techniques and nutrition.

The project will help link beneficiaries to local markets to facilitate the sale of marketable surpluses of wheat, vegetables and pulses.

Building Resilience

Second, the project will increase access to water for irrigation, while improving soil and water conservation.

It will also build climate resilience by supporting the rehabilitation and improvement of selected irrigation and watershed management systems on over 137,000 hectares of land.

Through the project, it is hoped that more than 1.9 million people will benefit from cash-for-work activities for the restoration of irrigation infrastructure and watershed management.

FAO programs

In addition to food aid, the FAO Food Security Project is one of three projects totaling $793 million approved by the World Bank to provide livelihoods and essential health services to the people. Afghan.

The World Bank is also strengthening other ongoing FAO programs in Afghanistan, funded by the Asian Development Bank and other donors.

Together they provide immediate assistance to save lives and protect livelihoods with activities that can enhance longer-term recovery and build resilience.

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