Afghanistan

ActionAid launches cash for work programme in Northern Afghanistan

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Kabul, Afghanistan (October 22, 2008) - ActionAid together with the European Union through its Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) today launched a Cash for Work Programme in Afghanistan.

The programme is being implemented in 40 of the most vulnerable villages in Darzab and Qushtepa districts in Jawzjan Province and Dawlatabad and Kaldar districts in Balkh province in northern Afghanistan.

It aims to provide around 5,000 families with enough food to cover at least half of their daily requirements throughout the harsh winter.

Recent statistics from the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) revealed that at least 1.5 million people in 19 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces, mostly farming communities in the north, have been severely affected by drought and are in need of urgent humanitarian relief.

ActionAid recently conducted a vulnerability analysis - in close coordination with local communities - of 150,000 people in 97 villages in 10 districts of Jawzjan and Balkh provinces.

This identified 5,376 of the most vulnerable people - including widows, the disabled, the elderly and daily wage earners who are either landless or who have lost their livelihood due to drought.

Of this figure, 480 extremely vulnerable individuals will receive direct aid, 96 as site supervisors and the rest to work either on canal cleaning, building school boundary walls or road rehabilitation.

"Since we started our operations in 2002, the Cash for Work Programme has provided urgent humanitarian support for those who are suffering the most," said ActionAid's country director GB Adhikari.

"However, as we also use the rights-based approach in our projects, we always emphasize the importance of using their daily earnings to create more established and enduring livelihood opportunities."

The scheme will be launched at Jawzjan and Mazar Provincial Conference Hall during the week of 22-26 October 2008. The event also brings together local and national government agencies as well as international key players such as TearFund, Save the Children UK, ZOA Refugee Agency, and German Agro Action (GAA) in working towards alleviation of hunger in the country.

ActionAid Afghanistan has established food security networks in different villages in the country following its April 4, 2006 membership to the International Food Security Network and plays an active role in ActionAid's global HungerFree campaign aimed at influencing food security issues in local, national and international forum.

Mr. Mudasser Hussain Siddiqui
Policy & Advocacy Manager
Contact: +93 (0) 799476991
mudasser.siddiqui@actionaid.org

Ms. Liny Edyawati Suharlim
Partnership Development Manager
Contact: +93 (0) 773131496
liny.suharlim@actionaid.org