Donors back $280 mln transfer for Afghan food, health

A boy sleeps as he rides a bicycle in Kabul, Afghanistan Oct 18, 2021. REUTERS/Jorge Silva/File Image

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WASHINGTON, Dec 10 (Reuters) – Donors agreed on Friday to transfer $280 million from a frozen, have faith in fund to the World Food items Program (WFP) and UNICEF to aid nutrition and health and fitness in Afghanistan, the Environment Lender said as it seeks to help a country going through famine and economic freefall.

The Planet Bank-administered Afghan Reconstruction Have faith in Fund will this calendar year give $180 million to WFP to scale up foods safety and diet functions and $100 million to UNICEF to provide important wellness companies, the financial institution claimed in a statement.

The money would aim to aid foodstuff protection and well being systems in Afghanistan as it sinks into a significant economic and humanitarian crisis that accelerated in August when the Taliban overran the country as the Western-backed govt collapsed and the past U.S. troops withdrew.

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The United States and other donors lower off fiscal help on which Afghanistan grew to become dependent for the duration of 20 yrs of war and much more than $9 billion of the country’s difficult forex assets were frozen.

The United Nations is warning that almost 23 million people – about 55% of the inhabitants – are facing extreme concentrations of hunger, with nearly 9 million at risk of famine as winter normally takes hold in the impoverished, landlocked region.

Employing reconstruction belief fund funds and channeling it via the WFP and UNICEF, equally component of the U.N. spouse and children, appears to be a way to get funding into the state for basic requires in a way that does not automatically implicate U.S. sanctions in opposition to the Taliban.

“This final decision is the to start with phase to repurpose cash in the ARTF portfolio to provide humanitarian support to the folks of Afghanistan at this significant time,” the financial institution stated, saying the organizations experienced presence on the ground to provide companies straight to Afghans in line “with their very own guidelines and procedures.”

“These ARTF resources will permit UNICEF to deliver 12.5 million folks with basic and essential health expert services and vaccinate 1 million men and women, though WFP will be capable to supply 2.7 million persons with foods help and almost 840,000 moms and young children with diet aid,” it included.

Earlier on Friday, Reuters described completely that the donors ended up anticipated to approve the $280 million transfer. On Dec. 1, Reuters described that the Entire world Bank board experienced backed transferring the ARTF cash to the two companies.

In its assertion, the bank claimed it would “continue on to perform with ARTF donors to unlock further ARTF money to assistance the Afghan men and women.”

Laurel Miller, a former performing U.S. particular consultant for Afghanistan and Pakistan, criticized the decision to tap the ARTF for strictly humanitarian aid, saying money must appear from other resources and the $1.5 billion fund ought to be utilized for a significant initiative to halt the collapse of condition institutions whose personnel have not been paid out for months.

“We’re conversing about a collapse of public expert services that serve the Afghan men and women,” explained Miller, who oversees the Asia method of the Worldwide Disaster Group, a assume tank. “That’s not about serving to the Taliban. Which is about encouraging Afghans who require a operating state. They want a lot more than food stuff assist.”

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Reporting by Arshad Mohammed, Jonathan Landay and Andrea Shalal Modifying by Daniel Wallis and Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.