WFP resilience-building work in Afghanistan receives major funding boost from Republic of Korea
KABUL – A ceremony was held here today in recognition of a US$16 million (₩18.3 billion; AFN1.24 billion) contribution from the Republic of Korea to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) in Afghanistan. It was attended by representatives from the Republic of Korea, the Afghanistan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development and WFP.
Last year and during the opening months of 2019, millions of people in Afghanistan were affected by a catastrophic drought. In recent weeks, heavy rains have lashed the parched ground, leading to flooding which has destroyed farming land and, in some provinces, has displaced families from their homes.
Korea’s contribution supports WFP’s resilience programmes in nine provinces: Badakhshan in the northeast, Laghman and Nangarhar in the east, and Bamyan, Daykundi, Logar, Paktia, Paktika, and Parwan in central Afghanistan. Participants in these programmes receive WFP food assistance to cover the needs of their families while they work to create community assets designed to improve their food and nutrition security.
“There’s no country in the world which is free from natural disasters and Korea is no exception,” said H.E. Zha Hyoung Rhee, Korean Ambassador to Afghanistan. “However, the impact of these disasters can be mitigated by human efforts. While we believe immediate response to disasters is important, building resilience to disasters is of paramount importance, especially in the long run. As the saying goes, you need to provide those in need not only with fish, but also fishing gear and the know-how to fish.”
Badakhshan, for example, vulnerable women are learning skills which will help them establish tree nurseries. The produce from the plots will supplement their families’ diets, and any surplus can be sold at local markets to earn income. In a mountainous area of the same province, a seven-kilometre-long irrigation canal is being constructed, which will improve water management for thousands of families in three villages.
“Across many areas of Afghanistan, people still rely on rain-fed agriculture, which means they are highly vulnerable to environmental shocks,” said WFP Country Director in Afghanistan, Zlatan Milisic. “By investing in land and water management, and community asset creation, such as flood protection walls, irrigation canals, and tree nurseries, families will have a better chance at withstanding natural disasters and recovering from them quickly. WFP is extremely grateful to the Government and the people of the Republic of Korea for their generous support. The funding will go a long way in building more resilient communities across Afghanistan.”
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