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IR Afghanistan Sets Out Aid Priorities After Troop Withdrawal
26 April 2012
Womens Project in Balkh Province, Afghanistan
“We want to ensure that future aid priorities in Afghanistan address the inadequacies of previous programmes and deliver widespread benefit for the poorest and most vulnerable...”
Fadlullah Wilmot, Islamic Relief’s Afghanistan Country Director.
Islamic Relief Afghanistan sets out aid priorities for when troops withdraw from Afghanistan
NATO foreign and defence ministers are meeting in Brussels on April 18 and 19 to plan conferences in Chicago (May) and Tokyo (July) that will shape security arrangements and international aid in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of western troops in 2013 and 2014.
Islamic Relief has published a policy briefing, After the Troops Withdraw, which sets out the six key priorities for current and future aid that it believes donor governments need to seriously address at the Chicago and Tokyo conferences and beyond.
Those six priorities are:
Improve food security and combat malnutrition and poverty. A quarter of children die before the age of five and poverty kills more people than armed conflict in Afghanistan, so food security should be the number one issue.
Increase agricultural empowerment and income-generating projects. Afghanistan has suffered eight droughts in 11 years, increasing the vulnerability of the 85% of the population who depend on agriculture. Agricultural extension services are woefully underfunded.
Invest in education for all and protect women. In Afghanistan a woman dies in childbirth every 29 minutes and many girls are denied access to education. More investment is needed in maternal health services and culturally sensitive education programmes.
Develop local capacity and support community participation. A greater proportion of international aid should go to projects that involve the poorest communities in designing and delivering their own development.
Improve cost-effectiveness and transparency in aid delivery. Where funding is limited, it is imperative that international aid is spent in the most cost-effective way.
Ensure plans for refugee returns are realistic and properly resourced. Any return must be voluntary and with dignity. Returns should be staggered and carefully planned with receiving communities
"We want to ensure that future aid priorities in Afghanistan address the inadequacies of previous programmes and deliver widespread benefit for the poorest and most vulnerable,” says Fadlullah Wilmot, Islamic Relief’s Afghanistan Country Director.
To arrange an interview with Fadlullah Wilmot, contact Bev Cohen (07921 655272 / email@example.com), Martin Cottingham (07974 109914 / firstname.lastname@example.org), or Safiya Sayed Baharun (0207 593 3241 / 07872 403 534 / email@example.com).
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