Afghanistan Weekly Update No. 390
The Consolidated Appeal for Afghanistan was launched in Islamabad and in Oslo, Norway on 29 November. The appeal seeks US$229 million for assistance to benefit the Afghan people.
The launch in Islamabad was addressed by Acting UN Co-ordinator Michael Sackett, Senior Gender Advisor Maysoon Melek, and Ruedi Hager of the Swiss Development Corporation.
In his address Mr. Mike Sackett noted that funding for all aspects of the appeal was critical given Afghanistan's difficult situation as a result of war and drought. He noted that the country was in a downward spiral, and that the situation was expected to deteriorate until at least summer of next year.
Returnees and Community Fora
The Information and Referral System for Returnees (IRRS) project, funded by the Japanese government, addresses the reintegration challenges facing Afghan returnees by enabling them, immediately upon return, to become involved in to the day-to-day life of the communities through the community fora in 13 districts of Kabul.
Since the beginning of the project in June 2000, 30 female and male return referral counsellors and one co-ordinator (all Afghans) have been trained by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in counselling, surveying, data-collection, compilation and matching of Afghan returnees' needs and skills in Kabul.
A computerized database has been designed and installed in the IOM office in Kabul, from which information about returnees' profile and referrals can be passed to international and local assistance partners. The aim of the project is to integrate returnees into the community through bridging the information gap between the two, and facilitating access to opportunities and resources that will benefit both the returnee and community.
The data collection from returnee families started on 26 October 2000. As of 25 November 2000, the return referral counsellors have filled 1,240 questionnaires and visited 540 families.
WHO conducted traditional birth attendant (TBA) and malaria and leishmaniasis control training courses in Kandahar, Helmand, Sar-i-Pul and Mazar provinces.
WHO provided medical supplies to a number of health facilities, clinics and provincial hospitals in Badakhshan, Nangahar, Herat, Ghor and Badghis provinces.
According to WHO, the recent out-break of a diarrhea disease in Takhar province with 1,200 admitted cases and ten death has now been brought under control and has subsided. A measles campaign is being carried out among IDPs in the northern province of Takhar by the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) and Médicins sans Frontières (MsF). So far 8,200 children between six months and five years have been vaccinated in various districts of the northern provinces.
Over 25,000 IDPs received treatment at the SCA-supported clinics in Dashti Qala and Khoja Bahauddin districts in Takhar Province, and the Panjshir valley. Most of them are referred to clinics in Keshim (Badakhshan), Ghaz Teppa, Yangi Qala and Farkhar (Takhar) and to mobile clinics in Dashtak District, Kundoz.
UNICEF is supporting the renovation of the Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric Centre in Farah Province. This facility will benefit almost 27,000 pregnant women in the province.
Planting wheat research trials continues in FAO research farms in Mazar and Kundoz provinces. Over 250 tonnes of wheat seed was distributed in Kundoz, Puli-Khumri and Mazar provinces last week.
FAO processed 3,000 kg of balanced feed, monitored eleven poultry farms, and vaccinated 6,000 poultry against various diseases in Kabul, where 50 classes were organised and 50 village women were trained in backyard poultry production and poultry diseases. In addition, FAO planted four rain-fed wheat research trials in Ali Abad District and four rain-fed wheat cultivars in irrigated land for multiplication purposes in Kundoz province, distributed 13,000 kg of wheat seed and urea mineral fertilizer in Shega District of Kandahar province.
Last week five tonnes of wheat seed was cleaned in Dand district and 60 tonnes of foundation wheat seed and 40 tonnes of mineral fertilizer were transferred to Herat, Farah and Kandahar provinces.
Hundred sixty-five tonnes of wheat seeds have been produced at the SCA farms in Ghazni, Jalalabad and Taloqan, and by contract farmers in Nangahar, Ghazni, Logar, Balkh and Takhar provinces.
With support from the Comprehensive Disabled Afghan Programme (CDAP), partner agencies and approval from the authorities, two community-managed schools (one for boys and one for girls), were inaugurated in District 5, Kandahar City last week. Both schools with over 100 students are being organised by a local school committee.
Presently, 1,600 girls receive formal education in the region, compared to less than 900 in the beginning of the year.
Shelter for IDPs
UNICEF is supporting the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Rural Rehabilitation Department (RRD) in establishing sanitation facilities, water supply services and latrines for the IDP camps in Herat.
UNICEF also continues to support health NGOs for the treatment of 5,000 IDP families in Shaidayee and Maslakh camps, and co-ordinates water and sanitation services in the camps.
UNCHS Herat completed 680 shelters and 30 latrines for IDPs, while some other 500 units are near completion.
Distribution of emergency relief items to the IDP camps in Herat is ongoing.
WFP Kandahar distributed 258 tonnes of wheat to almost 2,600 drought-affected families in Kandahar and Oruzgan provinces.
Distribution of food continues under Institutional Feeding and Food-for-Work in the southern region.
Water and Sanitation
With support from UNICEF, ten dug wells were improved and fitted with handpumps in Charchino District of Oruzgan Province.
UNICEF released supplies to RRD Kandahar for the drilling of 100 bore wells in Dand and Arghandab districts of Kandahar Province.
Following installation of 210 hand pumps in Kandahar City, UNCHS (Habitat) is planning to upgrade some 50 DACAAR-constructed but dried wells with handpumps in Kandahar City. Initial ground activities started last week.
The female social mobilisers of RRD Herat conducted a three-day social mobilization training of trainers' course for two female participants from Ghor Province.
The ECHO-funded Rural Engineering Unit of SCA deepened 30 dried out communal wells in Charasiab, Paghman, Chardehi, and Bagrami districts in Kabul.
A total of 1,710 out of 1,500 planned wells have been deepened in eastern and southeastern regions so far.
In collaboration with the municipality and local communities, over 1,000 cubic meters of solid waste was removed from Kandahar City under ECHO/UNCHS sanitation project.
The manual teams and mine dog groups surveyed and marked 165,188 sqm of high priority residential and agricultural area for clearance in Dand and Daman districts. In addition, demining groups cleared 11,034 sqm of high priority land in Panjwai, Dand and Daman districts of Kandahar province and Mussa Qala and Nahri Seraj districts of Helmand province last week.
Almost 500 people have received mine awareness training in southern region.
Human rights training for female staff of CDAP was conducted in Mazar Civil Hospital last week.
In order to promote community participation and better utilize the local resources, CDAP Mazar established four Community Rehabilitation and Development Centres in Mazar and Samangan provinces. The centers will provide a variety of rehabilitation and development services such as home-based vocational training, physiotherapy, mobility training, and revolving loan.
Afghanaid has established six new Women's Village Organizations (WVOs) in Baharak, Warduji and Ishkashim districts of Badakhshan in addition to six established previously.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.