The launch follows the signing of a tripartite agreement between IOM, the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) and the Ministry of Finance (MoF) last week to provide water and sanitation facilities in areas with high numbers of returnees.
IOM with financial support from Japan will help local authorities provide a total of 114 water points and 342 latrines, benefiting some 20,000 people in Herat, Farah, Nimroz, Kunduz, Bamyan, Kabul and Nangarhar provinces.
"The large scale return of Afghans has stretched to breaking point the capacity of local authorities to deliver basic services, especially clean water," said IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission Robbie Thomson. "More than 560,000 Afghans have either voluntarily returned or been deported this year alone. The communities they are returning to need help to absorb them," Thomson added.
The agreement was signed as part of IOM's Socio-Economic Reintegration of Afghans Returning from Iran and Pakistan (RARIP) programme. Funded by the Japanese government, the programme aims to promote population stabilization through community-based activities.
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