EU humanitarian aid to Afghan refugees
Summary: June 19, 2002: Afghanistan: European Commission announces €22 million to help refugees go home (Brussels)
The Commission has today decided to contribute 22 million euro to help refugees and internally displaced persons return home in Afghanistan. The programme has two main aims: first to make return to areas outside the major cities possible, by rehabilitating and reconstructing the infrastructure in returnees' places of origin; second, to support communities during the reintegration process, helping them tackle the consequences of the long-standing conflict, unprecedented drought, and
loss of productive assets. The Commission's contribution makes it the primary donor to the "Programme for Reintegration and Community Support in Afghanistan", which will cost € 30.7 million in total. The programme will be implemented by a consortium of 5 European NGOs: Danish Committee for Afghan Refugees - DACAAR, Afghanaid (UK), German Agro Action, Swedish Committee for Afghanistan and Healthnet International (NL).
This programme will directly assist a total of more than 4 million returnees, across nearly all the Afghan provinces. The objectives are:
- Rehabilitation and construction of rural infrastructures. Boost productive capacities, with active involvement of the local communities. Rehabilitate community assets such as roads and irrigation systems. Support resumption of agriculture, through provision of improved seeds, fertilisers, saplings, animal vaccination and treatment. Help diversify the local economy through vocational training and micro credit schemes.
- Enhanced provision of primary education opportunities to the target population (girls and boys).
- Improved primary health care for target population, health promotion activities including child development and protection, and control of vector-born diseases.
- Improved access of the beneficiaries to sanitation and drinking water facilities.
The most recent figures from UNHCR show an unprecedented number of more than 800,000 persons having returned to Afghanistan since the beginning of the year. It appears that many of those returning, are heading for the major cities of Afghanistan, and especially Kabul. The Commission is concerned about this phenomenon, which could become a cause of instability. Rural rehabilitation programmes, like the one approved today, are essential to create the minimum conditions that will encourage
refugees and displaced people to return to the country areas they come from, and the Commission will support this kind of programme in the medium to long term.
- Ref: EC02-126EN
- EU source: European Commission
- UN forum:
- Date: 19/6/2002
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