Aid to Afghanistan and South West Asia Update - Nov 2002

The Australian Government, through its overseas aid agency, AusAID, is to contribute $4 million to assist UNICEF with its back to school program for the children of Afghanistan.
Since March 2002, more than 1.5 million children have resumed their education under the program which is paying particular attention to the needs of girls who were denied formal education under the Taliban regime.

Australia is also providing $1 million to improve wheat seed distribution and wheat seed quality in Afghanistan. Three years of drought and years of conflict have left much of Afghanistan's population highly vulnerable to hunger and crop yields are only now starting to improve. This funding will be provided through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, ACIAR.

In addition, Australia will also provide a limited number of Australian Development Scholarships for Afghanistan in 2003. These will be targeted to priority areas identified by the Transitional Administration, to help the country's longer term capabilities beyond the current reconstruction period.

The contributions to UNICEF and ACIAR are part of a $54.33 million commitment given by Australia since September 2001 for humanitarian relief and reconstruction in Afghanistan.

This assistance has been in the form of food aid, measures to restore essential infrastructure, assistance for displaced people, water and sanitation, mine clearance and awareness, emergency medical assistance, immunisation, nutrition, primary education and training, and strengthening migration and border control systems.

The funding has been allocated in the following way.

November 2002

  • $4 million to UNICEF to support activities in basic education, especially for girls

  • $1 million to ACIAR to improve wheat seed quality and distribution

  • $2 million (through DIMIA funding) to assist the Afghan government strengthen migration and border control systems

  • $200,000 (through DIMIA funding) to the Afghan Interior Ministry to conduct nationality checks for people wishing to return home

  • $200,000 (through DIMIA funding) to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to establish employment and training referral service for Afghans after their return.

September 2002

  • $1.5 million to UN Mine Action Program for mine action activities

August 2002

  • =B7$7 million to supply Australian wheat to the World Food Programme

July 2002

  • $4 million for basic education, specifically girls education

  • $1 million for agriculture and drug control

  • $1 million for mine action activities.

  • $1.03 million to the International Organisation for Migration for its internal transportation networks

  • $1.1 million to the International Organisation for Migration for the Jangalak Refugee Receiving Centre in Kabul

  • $0.5 million for capacity building in the banking/finance sector

  • $0.5 million will be set aside for emerging priorities.

Previous funding was distributed in the following way:

  • $14.3 million to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

  • $7 million to the World Food Programme

  • $4 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross

  • $1.5 million to the International Organization for Migration

  • $1 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Food Programme for relief operations following the March earthquake

  • $1 million to the United Nations Development Program's Regional Humanitarian Coordinator's Office

  • $1 million to the United Nations Development Programme Trust Fund for the Interim Afghan Administration

  • $1 million to Care Australia

  • $750,000 to Australian Volunteers International

  • $500,000 to the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF

  • $500,000 to UN Drug Control Program

  • $500,000 for mine action activities

  • $500,000 to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

  • $250,000 to Australian Red Cross

  • $250,000 to Oxfam Community Aid Abroad

  • $250,000 UNICEF Australia.