Afghanistan + 2 more

UNICEF Humanitarian Action: Afghanistan Programme Donor Update 29 May 2002

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published


MORE FUNDING NEEDED FOR EDUCATION, PROGRESS IN OTHER SECTORS

  • UNICEF takes the lead in education and other programme areas
  • Measles campaign resumes after temporary break
  • Maternal mortality survey underway

1. EMERGENCY OVERVIEW AND CURRENT SITUATION

Challenges abide for Afghanistan's recovery

Afghanistan continues to represent one of the most complex and difficult environments in which humanitarian agencies operate. There is a rising demand for humanitarian services in a context of ongoing military operations, continuous insecurity and population movements. Opposing factions have recently clashed in the southeast, north and centre of the country, affecting humanitarian access there. Refugees from Pakistan and Iran continue to return home in record numbers. UNHCR reports that since March 2002, more than 600,000 people have returned to Afghanistan. Internally displaced populations (IDPs) are also going back home, with more than 160,000 returns reported by IOM. Although returnees are being assisted with start-up packages, they will inevitably encounter hardship once home where basic services are virtually non-existent or strained by additional needs. Health experts have already noted a rise in cases of diarrhoea and in the overall number of patients treated since large-scale returns started.

The preparations for the emergency Loya Jirga or 'grand council' continue. The Loya Jirga, which will be convened in Kabul on 10 -- 16 June, will select a transitional government that is to replace the Afghan Interim Administration. Within a further eighteen months, a Constitutional Loya Jirga will be held to write a new constitution, and within two years elections will be held for a new government. A successful Loya Jirga would represent an important advance in stabilising Afghanistan and expectations are high. However the process, which has been underway for several months, is challenged by power struggles occurring on local, regional, national and international levels, according to a report by the International Crisis Group.

Heavy rains cause more flooding

Localised flooding continues in several areas of Afghanistan with the most significant in Waras, the southern most district in Bamyan province. Days of heavy rain have resulted in mudslides and flash floods. A joint-UN helicopter assessment took place on 18 May and initial estimates put 25,000 people and up to 50 per cent of agricultural land as affected. The loss of life is said to be minimal. Flooding has also occurred in the northeast province of Badakshan where three days of continuous rain damaged 100 homes and claimed 30 lives according to reports by humanitarian agencies. Floods and landslides also affected Takhar province in the northeast. The May rains follow record setting rains in April, when Afghanistan experienced the highest monthly precipitation in three decades.

2. UNICEF RESPONSE: ACTIVITIES, ACHIEVEMENTS AND CONSTRAINTS

UNICEF takes the lead in several programme areas

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has designated UNICEF as the programme secretariat (formerly sectoral lead agency) for the education. One of the main implications of being a programme secretariat is the ability to support the Ministry of Education to develop comprehensive education policies and to implement programmes on a national level. As a start to the process, UNICEF held the first two consultative coordination meetings with the Ministry of Education, UN agencies, bilateral and NGOs. UNICEF is also working with the Afghanistan Management Information Service (AMIS) to map interventions by humanitarian agencies in the education sector in an exercise called Who's Doing What Where.

UNICEF is seconding technical specialists at central level to enhance national capacity in policy development, coordination and programme implementation and provide institutional support. Three advisors have been working with the Ministry of Education in systems development, Education Management Information System (EMIS) and school rehabilitation. Two more specialists will join the ministry in the near future, one for curriculum development and another for teacher training.

In the health sector, UNICEF is responsible for coordinating the sub-sectors of nutrition, the Expanded Programme for Immunisation (EPI), and Safe Motherhood while WHO focuses on overall technical capacity building and communicable disease activities such as TB and malaria prevention. UNICEF's recently-arrived technical advisor on nutrition and food security has starting working with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and a specialist on safe motherhood is expected soon. UNICEF is the first agency to provide full-time staff to the MoPH. UNICEF advisors have an important role to play in promoting public health and community-based strategies within the MoPH.

Mealses campaign starts after a short break

The mass measles campaign has resumed after a temporary halt to make way for the April national immunisation days for polio. Target areas for May are the southern, eastern and southeastern regions. Continuing conflict around Gardez is hampering the campaign in the southeast. UNICEF is responding to a measles outbreak in remote areas of Sharistan and Dai Kundi. Coverage surveys show lower rates of coverage than those indicated by target population figures indicating that population figures are underestimates in some areas. In the districts where the coverage rate is less than 80 per cent children will be revaccinated.

To date approximately 6 million children aged 6 months to 12 years have been vaccinated. Returning refugees are also receiving their measles shots in over 40 border posts and two encashment areas.

Maternal mortality survey underway

UNICEF and the MoPH, with technical support from the Centres of Disease Control and Prevention, have been carrying out a maternal mortality study to determine the magnitude, causes and prevention of maternal deaths in Afghanistan. Health experts have identified maternal mortality as a major issue of concern. The study is being conducted in four provinces (Kabul, Kandahar, Laghman, Balakshan), representing rural and urban populations. It will have both quantitative and qualitative components, providing rich information to guide UNICEF programming. Preliminary results are expected at the end of June 2002.

The way forward for water resource management

Three days of energetic and focused discussions during the Conference on Water Resource Management and Development in Kabul have resulted in The Kabul Understanding, a paper pointing the way forward for the sector. The conference was jointly organised by UNICEF and the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources and attended by 150 participants from government, the donor community, the private sector, NGOs and UN agencies. Immediate follow-up actions include establishing an advisory council to guide the Ministry of Irrigation, identifying short and medium term projects, and selecting technical advisors to assist in government planning, programme implementation and management.

Training to benefit 7,000 teachers

Teacher orientation continues under the umbrella of the back-to-school campaign. The programme was devised to familiarise teachers with the competency-based learning material, developed by Afghan educators in 1999 as part of a quality academic programme. More than 300 district education officers have participated in the workshops so far. They will now start a series of half-day orientations for 7,000 teachers across the country. This is a prelude to a more comprehensive training programme in teaching approaches, involving 10-day workshops.

High-level Japanese delegation visits a UNICEF-supported school

Japan's Senior Vice Minister of Education, Mr. Fumio Kishisda, visited three girls' school on 20 May to see first hand how funds from the Japanese government have been put to use to improve the education system in Afghanistan. The engagement is part of a three-day visit by the Vice-Minister. Mr. Kishisda was accompanied by Japan's Ambassador to Afghanistan, Mr. Kimichi Komano, representatives of the Interim Administration and UNICEF during the visit to the schools.

At one of the schools, the Zarghuna High School, more than 4,000 girls aged 7 to 18 years are enrolled there. The school was closed by the Taliban during their control of the capital but reopened for lessons on 24 March 2002. There are some 200 women teachers on the staff, many of whom have participated in the orientation programmes, organised by the Ministry of Education and UNICEF, to help prepare them for the new school year. In addition all pupils in grades 1 to 6 have received stationary materials, and teachers have been provided with teaching resources, including textbooks, through the UNICEF-supported back-to-school campaign. The school has also benefited from physical rehabilitation works, including repairs to windows, roofs, doors and the installation of sanitation facilities.

Response to floods

UNICEF has responded to the floods in various parts of Afghanistan by sending relief supplies. In Badakshan province, UNICEF provided implementing partner, Oxfam, with non-food items and supplementary food for 250 families. This included tents, cooking sets, jerry cans, UNIMIX (one 25-kg bag per family), high protein biscuits, plastic sheeting, soap and children's and women's clothing. In Waras, UNICEF participated in the UN helicopter assessment and provided a health kit, 5,000 sachets of oral rehydration salts (ORS) and 1,000 jerry cans.


DONOR CONTRIBUTIONS/PLEDGES AS OF 30 APRIL 2002
Donor
RECEIVED (US$)
Donor
RECEIVED (US$)
Governments & others
UNICEF Natcoms
AGFUND
50,000
Andorra
15,933
Andorra
50,000
Australia
120,497
Australia
255,100
Austria
346,226
Belgium
1,545,192
Belgium
158,566
Brunei Darussalam
272,183
Canada
1,261,840
Canada
443,037
Czech Republic
18,032
Denmark
2,132,800
Denmark
216,678
ECHO
902,115
Finland
169,065
Finland
1,468,725
France
1,896,115
France
559,960
Germany
5,385,578
Germany
758,209
Hong Kong
100,000
Italy
6,103,630
Hungary
36,000
Japan
27,501,210
Ireland
250,000
Kuwait
450,000
Italy
957,849
Luxembourg
68,290
Japan
11,574,153
Netherlands
10,349,178
Korea
200,000
Norway
924,886
Luxembourg
110,366
Poland
80,046
Netherlands
376,744
Sweden
4,278,600
New Zealand
19,949
UK Govt
11,616,750
Norway
22,754
USA/OFDA-USAID
4,150,000
Poland
USA/BPRM
6,000,000
Portugal
130,000
San Marino
10,212
American Red Cross
125,000
Slovenia
138,383
Rep of Korea (Onnuri Church)
4,300
Spain
162,292
UN Women's Guild
11,905
Sweden
105,418
UNICEF Argentina
18,745
United Kingdom
3,408,165
UNICEF Chile
102,630
US Fund
2,386,750
UNICEF Nepal
1,094
UNICEF Thailand
3,280
Sub-total:
80,226,865
Sub-total
29,577,568
Grand Total
109,804,433

In addition, the Norwegian Government has provided donations-in-kind of winterised tents with heaters (US$319,000), therapeutic feeding (BP5) (US$725,000), Rubbhall warehousing (US$105,000), blankets (US$307,000), water supplies (US$270,000) and telecommunications equipment (US$354,000). Additionally, the US Government provided 1,000 rolls of plastic sheeting and 250,000 blankets, and the Korean Government donated US$ 1 million worth of children's winter clothes and winterised tents.

3. CURRENT PRIORITIES

Below are three projects that need urgent funding.


Table 2: PRIORITY REQUIREMENTS
AS OF May 2002
Project
Beneficiaries/coverage
Amount Required (US$)
1. School Water, Sanitation and Hygiene project 1,000 schools
5,000,000
2. Teacher Training 10,000 teachers
750,000
3. School Rehabilitation 100 schools
3,000,000

Details of the UNICEF Afghanistan Programme can be obtained from:

Eric Laroche
UNICEF Afghanistan
Representative
Tel: +92 51 221948-51
Fax: +92 51 212836
E-mail: elaroche@unicef.org

David S. Bassiouni
UNICEF EMOPS
Geneva
Tel.: +41 22 909 5503
Fax: +41 22 909 5902
Email: dbassiouni@unicef.org

Dan Rohrmann
UNICEF PFO
New York
Tel: +1 212 326 7009
Fax: +1 212 326 7165
E-mail drohrmann@unicef.org